Managing School and Work
Success at school and work doesn't have to come at the expense of your personal life. Managing your schedule requires regular attention, but the rewards are definitely worth the effort.
Determine What Needs to be Done
Make a daily list of everything that needs to be accomplished. Be specific, listing out each major step of every project. It's impossible to create an achievable plan for the day if you just have a vague idea of what must be accomplished.
It's a common-sense approach, but starting with the most important task ensures that you're never left panicking at the last minute because you took care of an easier project first and were left without time to thoroughly tackle — and complete — a more critical or time-sensitive one.
Maximize Your Time
Even if your schedule or workday doesn't allow for much flexibility, you can organize your off-hours, study time or commute in a way that allows you to work on smaller tasks in short blocks of time. It can be really satisfying to knock out an easier or less time-consuming activity while you wait on the doctor, take a short work break or ride the bus.
Timers can make you aware of productivity leaks and help you stay on track. Many of us don't realize how much time we spend texting, checking our social media accounts, daydreaming and working or studying inefficiently. Whether you use a kitchen timer or one of the many free productivity apps or timers available online, timing yourself can keep you focused when working on a school assignment or work project. Get even more detailed by using a free app or website that lets you name and time-track specific activities for different classes or work groups.
Although it's important to finish assignments and meet work deadlines, it's hard to be productive if you're not getting enough rest. Even if it means sacrificing a half-hour of TV time, be sure to carve out enough time for a good night's sleep. If you find yourself relying on coffee to get you through your long day, consider weaning yourself off the last cup or two by mixing in half decaf until you no longer need the caffeine. You'll sleep much better and won't need to rely as much on caffeine for energy.
Balancing work, school and home life can be challenging, but you don't have to go it alone. Staying connected with other students can help you stay motivated and let off a little steam. Online or social media groups geared toward lifestyles like your own can also be great avenues for venting and sharing suggestions.
Whatever your specific situation, know that even the tough times will be worth the pay-off. From planning your day in advance to staying healthy and well-rested, establishing and maintaining an organized routine will help you succeed in every facet of your life.