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How can I be more efficient in my daily routines? How can I be more focused on school work?

Hi! I am a college student. I used to be living at home before coming to college, I will have breakfast waken up, and now everything is so different. The first thing I did when I wake up is make my bed, and then I have to wait for the laundry room to be ready, and I cleaned my cup, then I brushed my teeth and washed my face, and then I have to re allocate the lundry room, when I finally sat down and used all my morning energy on the chores, I am hungry because there is no breakfast, I struggled in my mind if I want to make my own breakfast and go through the waiting time, the dishes, etc. I just felt everything is so messy and too much for me sometimes. Any advice? How i could be more focused on school work? Thank you college college-advice college-bound help

Hi Ruiling! I also think these are two great questions you are asking here. Off the bat, the method I use to be more productive and efficient with my daily routine is the sticky note method. With the sticky note method, pretty much what you do is write your top 3 things you need to get done. I suggest focusing those top 3 tasks on school work and then writing a line across and then on the bottom portion, write stuff that isn't such a priority, but maybe upcoming things to work on or think about starting on to give yourself that little head start. Here is an article more on the Sticky Note Method Technique: I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck. You got this! Monica L.
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Stephen’s Answer

Hey, Ruiling! That is a great question, and I think your concern is mainly rooted in "change management". In my experience going from high school to college to working to management, I've had to adjust my schedule and how I operate to find what works best for me under changing circumstances. Change management has helped me develop the best ways to go about my day even if my day-to-day is vastly different than before. Here's how I recommend tackling the change of starting college:

1. Identify there is a challenge and why that's the case. Which you have already! It's that more energy is being spent on your morning routine and you don't feel as productive with school work.

2. Understand what worked previously and why it worked. Before college, you'd already have breakfast made, so it'd be easier to start your day with one less thing to worry about. I'd assume you can't have breakfast made by someone else going forward, but this idea of "having one less thing to worry about in the morning" can be replicated.

3. Experiment. What if the night before, you decided what breakfast would be the next day? That way, as you go into your routine, that's already decided for you so you don't have to worry about that in the morning alongside your other chores. I recommend picking one thing out of your routine to experiment with and trying it out for a week.

4. Evaluate. Did planning your breakfast the night before make it easier to start the day? If so, continue adopting that into your routine. Then repeat the process with a different part of your routine you'd like to experiment with. Maybe do laundry in the evenings while winding down for the day instead of the mornings.

I continually have to shift my routine as things change, but keeping an experimental mindset and understanding why things work for me allows me to keep my productivity consistent.
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Kim’s Answer


It is great that you have figured out that something needs to give! Since your top priority right now is school, I would first figure out what my most productive time of day is, and allocate that to classes and studying. It does no good to get classes out of the way first thing in the morning if your brain doesn't engage until 11 a.m.! Same for studying. 11 pm study sessions won't work if you need toothpicks to hold up your eyelids.

Next, look at everything else. Self-care, chores, and "Me- time." You didn't say what your living arrangements are, or your financial situation. If you can afford it, protein bars are a great way to go. A bar and a drink, and you should be fueled up for about 3 hours. Pack good snacks so you don't need to wait in line, but always eat at least one solid meal a day.

As to laundry, don't be afraid to wear something more than once before it is washed. And, honestly, you can mix different fabrics in one load. Obviously, don't wash a dressy blouse with sweats or towels, but I sort depending on fabric weight and how dirty it is. So, sweats and towels and even jeans can all go together. If I did a landscaping project, those get done separately!

Makeup and all that. . . that's up to you. I used to find pamper-me time on Sundays . . .soak in a nice bath, do a skin care routine, etc. The rest of the week was a quick shower and out the door. Making the bed? I'd straighten the covers. . . actually making it up takes about 3 more minutes - those minutes add up. If you just have to have it made, then do it, but, you get the idea. Start looking for places to shave off some minutes.

Anyway, it really is all a matter of allocating time, finding shortcuts, and watching how much time is gobbled up by games/surfing/texting/ etc. It helps to diagram it all out, maybe on a spreadsheet.

I hope some of this helps. It's not all as complex as it seems right now. . . .good luck!
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Paresh’s Answer

First thing first, have proper breakfast. To think and work, one need energy and it comes from food.
For tomorrow, plan today. Routine stuff can be prioritize in order of importance.
Early waking up certainly helps to manage the day.
Follow schedule for at least a week, identify scope for improvement, adopt to new schedule and follow it again for 1 week...keep trying until you reach your mark.
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Padmapriya’s Answer

Hi Ruiling,

Great question. To manage time and daily routine I would prefer to write down the To-Do list. Also, you can use The Pomodoro Technique.

1. Choose a task you'd like to get done
2. Set the Pomodoro for 25 minutes
3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings
4. When the Pomodoro rings, put a checkmark on a paper
5. Take a short break
6. Every 4 pomodoros, take a longer break

By applying this you can manage handling interruptions.

Hope this helps.

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Rebecca’s Answer

This is a question on time management. Firstly, you may need to find out a diary / calendar too to help you, e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Calendar in your phone, etc.
Below are a few suggested steps:
1. You put in your lesson time - Since you are a college student, I assume you may have different time of the first lesson everyday.
2. You could put in 45-1 hour before your 1st lesson as your wake up. It depends how long you need to make your bed, go to laundry room, clean up yourself and breakfast time, etc. If you need more time, you can make it earlier. Set it up in the alarm of your phone.
3. Put in the time for your revision and doing assignment
4. You can then put in the time remains for your hobbies, exercise, leisure time, friends and family gathering, etc.
5. You don't need to fill up every time slot in the diary. You may reserve some 'me' time for yourself to relax and reflect.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!