Time Management

Time is a resource. As finals approach, this resource apparently decreases in supply, increasing its value. Effective management of time is of the utmost importance. Thus, a list of tips for how to better manage your time:

1. Prioritize

At the beginning of every week, take 15 minutes to write a list of your goals and duties, prioritizing each item. At the beginning of every day, take five minutes to do the same. When prioritizing, focus on both long-term importance and the immediate urgency of each item. The Pareto Principle states that 80% of output (value) comes from 20% of input. Be sure to know which 20% of your tasks will result in the greatest output.

2. Manage time in increments

To increase efficiency, designate chunks of time to certain tasks. When doing schoolwork, focus only on schoolwork for the designated time (no Facebook, no Netflix, no interruptions); when taking a break, take a real break for the designated amount of time (talk to friends, watch HBO, lay lazily in the sun); when finishing chores, only power clean/answer emails/run errands for the designated time (turn up the tunes and get down to work). Avoidance of multitasking allows for efficient completion of necessary responsibilities.

3. Dedicate spaces

Have a space in which you work and only work. Reserve your bed for sleeping. Enjoy leisure activities in the spaces you do not associate with studying/working/resting. Apportionment of spaces allows for mental separation between tasks.

4. Save passwords and use auto-complete

This may seem insignificant, but if you have multiple menial obligations, the minutes spent signing into email/bank accounts/Sakai add up. Minimize these minutes by saving your regularly used passwords. Though individually insignificant, the minutes add up over time.

5. Know your body clock

If you know when during the day you have the most energy, then you will best be able to optimize your work efforts. Are you an early bird? Are you a  night owl? Complete your most important tasks during the most energetic periods of your day to maximize productivity.

6. Breathe, sleep, eat

When you’re tired, in a tizzy or otherwise mentally bothered, you will not perform at your best. Give your brain and body the basics needs they require to work efficiently and effectively. Sleep, eat well and relax, at least for a bit of time, each day.