If you could go back in time and give yourself any time management tips, what would they be?
I have not done a great job managing my time, but I am working to get better at it as I finish up high school career. I know that I will have a lot more free time in college, and I do not want to spend it all binge watching Netflix. #thankyousomuch
If I could coach my younger self, I would make better use of calendars! It took me a long time to appreciate how deadlines pile up around midterm and finals. If I had reviewed and compared the syllabus (or schedule) for all of my classes and added important deadlines to a calendar, I would have had a better idea of the total time needed to meet these competing deadlines. It also helped create a visual representation of all my assignments.
I should mention we're all bad at estimating the time to complete a task. There's a term for this called the "planning fallacy". I manage software development schedules as part of my job, and I see the effects of this every day. This article provides a good overview with tips for combatting planning mistakes. If you're looking for a deeper dive into time management, I'd recommend Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. You should be able to find it at a public library. He gave a talk at Google about his book, which is available on YouTube.
I agree with other respondents about to-do lists. I still use them daily in my work.
Another recommendation for making the best use of the time you've set aside for school work is to discover the conditions where you're most productive. For me, I enjoyed studying at the library or other quiet places with few distractions. I struggled to concentrate at home because there were too many distractions between roommates, TV, and snacks. Experiment with listening to music, or background noise, like Coffitivity.
Desiree recommends the following next steps:
For me, the biggest thing is keeping a log of how you spend your time. You'd be shocked at how long you can spend idly scrolling your twitter feed etc. There are some great apps that can help you do this. I've also had deals with friends and teachers that I check in with them every few hours.
The other thing which has been mentioned is a to-do list. At my college we call them "Done is Good" lists and attach little rewards for each thing. It makes the World of a difference!
I would invest in my mornings. Be a morning person. Start your day by waking up roughly at the same time, with a good bedtime. Wake up, do some stretches, meditate and at first journal your brain dump of ideas and a to-do list of what you want for the day. Update your calendar with appointments - make everything an appointment, including going to the gym. Trust me, it happens better if its an appointment.
Sudha recommends the following next steps:
One of the problems I had was I would wait until the last minute to finish essays or projects. Make it easy on yourself and break up the essay and project and do a little bit each day. Keep a list of things you need to have completed by the end of the day, and give yourself little breaks in between each task.
Thank you for asking this question so early in your life because that is something i wish i asked myself at your age. The #1 thing for me is definitely setting up a Google Calendar and listing out all my activities I need to get done throughout the day. That has definitely increased my efficiency so much. It's the same for work too where i use the calendar at work to track all of my meetings and tasks.
Good luck !
Diane recommends the following next steps:
I would tell myself, "Most Important Now." It's a familiar refrain that I've heard many times, but I have always had a tough time following it. My own problem is that I get fanatical about solving some problems because I enjoy the work. I work very hard on things. But other things unfortunately fall by the wayside, often until the "last minute", as it were. I force myself to do some things and with limited time, I excuse myself for doing a less-than-stellar job. I believe I would have had many successes that have slipped through my fingers because I did what I really wanted to do. I can imagine that if I didn't have a lot of interests, I could have been rather lazy. But prioritization is a good train to foster.
If I could go back in time, I would have started college earlier. I waited I had kids. Take advantage of all of the opportunities such as work study, internships and study abroad.
Cindy recommends the following next steps:
Chrè Davis Parnell, MSEd
If I could go back, I would have sought out help through my university's counseling center much sooner. If you start feeling demotivated or apathetic about your college work, it could be a warning sign for depression, anxiety, or something similar. No shame in getting help and learning how to manage and overcome that, and the sooner the better. When we know and understand the root of these behaviors and feelings, better time management follows.
In addition to keeping a to do list, I rank my to do list in order of importance and urgency. For example, my essay may be due tomorrow, and my final project is due next week. The final project ranks higher in terms of importance, however, the urgency of the essay places it at a higher priority.
Zachary recommends the following next steps:
If I could go back in time, I would organize everything. Creating to-do lists are really helpful to manage your time. Also, I would create a list about the things I am spending too much time, in other words, I would observe myself. Lastly, I think I would use Pomodoro technique which is quite useful for both managing the time and studying effectively.
It is great that you recognize that time management is imperative to be successful, that's the first step!
Cassandra recommends the following next steps:
Kiran Adhikari sun
If I could go back I want organize more science outreach programs to students teach them why and how to study science and importance of education.
That staying up late to do more work will only make you less efficient the following day. Better to get sleep!
If I could go back and give myself tips:
1) Sunday night I would create a weekly plan of goals/tasks I want to complete throughout the week (Google Keep)
2) I would create a daily agenda breaking down what tasks I would like to complete each day and a specified time in the day to complete the task (Google Calendar)
Great tools I recommend are Google Calendar and Google Keep (To-Do list/Post-It Notes Digital Tracker).
The most important thing is recognizing your goals and creating a plan to achieve those goals.
You don't have to go crazy planning every hour, second, and minute of your day at first (though growing to separate your days by the hour can become a great skill to increase your income and get the most of your social life). You can simply start by mapping out your goals for college. Ask yourself what is it that you want to get out of your time there. Don't stop with your academic goals, make social goals, skill goals, specific accomplishments, etc. Do some research and see how you can get involved in non-academic activities and clubs at your university. This is a great way to force yourself to learn time management and prioritize, while making connections, building leadership skills, and growing socially.
To sum up, I agree with the approach of closely logging and recording your time. But make sure you give yourself time to consider what is most important to you, and what you want to accomplish while in school.
I hope this helps and best of luck!
This is useful in many ways. Firstly you will have your time occupied in something you enjoy, and will therefore not need to find excuses to avoid it.
Secondly, you will also invest in yourself by learning new skills. Many employers look for individuals who are multi-faceted and well rounded. Short courses in other fields show that you are competent in more than one area. It also garners within you the desire and focus to achieve more, thereby motivating you to use your time effectively. In my experience, this is because the feeling of accomplishment when I finished my online course gave me the desire to achieve more.
I wish you the best of luck!