The most important skill for any kind of student whether you are in high school, college or graduate school is time management. Working, going to school, extracurricular activities and having a social life can sometimes push a person into overload (I know from experience). Nevertheless, it is possible to do all of this effectively; it just takes a lot of focus and hard work. Here are a few simple steps to improve your time management skills
1. Get in the habit of writing things down
If you try to remember something without writing it down more often than not you will forget it. Writing down what you need to do is effective for two reasons; it allows you to see it and in turn you remember it better and also writing things down makes them official in your mind and it gives your task purpose
2. Get a wall calendar
I realize that we all probably have calendars on our phones however if you are like me then you can never remember to check our electronic calendars. Get a large wall calendar that has boxes around each of the dates and write all of your activities in them. Hang it on your wall so that you see it when you wake up and come home every day.If you cannot find a calendar that suits your particular needs feel free to make one like I did (hopefully you will have better craftsmanship)
3. Have a weekly and daily to-do list
This may sound a little redundant but it is extremely helpful especially if you have copious amounts of work to do. Try using the 1,2,3 method; labeling your task from most important to least important. Surprisingly I have no problem having an electronic to-do list and there are a few apps that I’ve found that work great for me as a student, they are also free.
a. AnyDo – Great for daily to-do lists and does an auto clean-up at the end of the week.
b. GTasks – Good for weekly to-do lists (similar to AnyDo)
If electronic to-do lists are not for you try using note cards; write down each task you need to do on a different note card then when you are down with each task just throw the note card away. Easy! Another good investment would be a student planner or an agenda; some schools even provide them for free.
4. Make use of down time
You will not believe how much down time you have during the day; waiting for the bus or waiting for class to start, use this time to study or finish any small tasks you have during the day. Five minutes may not seem like a lot of time to get things done but trust me it definitely adds up. These four steps, although they seem small are extremely helpful. The core of all of this, of course, is prioritization. Do your most important tasks first and save the others for when you have free time. Good Luck!