It’s the time of year where chocolates, flowers, I do’s, and cards are exchanged between loved ones. Whether you love the idea of Valentine’s Day or hate it – use it! Use it for yourself in a way that inspires personal growth.
As pioneers in the health and education field, we often hear students say, “There is just not enough time in the day to get everything done!” We get it. Tasks accumulate, time shrinks, and anxiety levels rise. Although we can’t “buy” more time like purchasing a bag of apples at the grocery store, we can learn tricks to manage it better. So when we strap down and focus less on clock time and more on “real time” (when stuff actually happens) something magical can happen — a more productive day.
This February, vow to say “I do” to these 4 time management hacks and become a better master of your own time:
1. Work intensely in short bursts.
Any gym trainer will tell you that short bursts of exercise are better than exercising nonstop. That well-known phrase “interval training” is also the motto when it comes to tackling your work or school day. So erase the idea that the more time we spend at work or the library, the more we will get done. In fact, the opposite is true. Try focusing on one at task a time and giving that task the full attention it deserves in short periods of time. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make when you are completely focused on one thing.
2. Organize in your own way.
Just like one size doesn’t fit all, one working style won’t work for everyone. Some people prefer to organize on their smartphone, while others prefer an old fashioned calendar. Take the time to experiment and find which method works best for you. Lifehack shares six awesome productivity tools that help students stay organized and prepared to face any academic challenge. The overall key is to find the best method that keeps you organized and diligently stick to it.
3. Schedule time for interruptions.
We are all familiar with office hours when the professor blocks off a chunk of time to dedicate to students’ questions, comments, or concerns. Office hours are in a sense a time for planned interruptions for the professor. As a student, it can be very beneficial to plan for time to be pulled away from what you’re doing. If you schedule time for distractions, you will be less likely to be distracted when buckling down on a task. Let’s all be like our college professors and adopt the “office hour” strategy!
4. Take 30 minutes to plan your day.
Rushing into your day without a proper plan is like eating too much ice cream straight from the container, instead of taking the time to scoop a reasonable amount. Before the day has the opportunity to stray away from you, take the first 30 minutes to “scoop your ice cream” and prioritize your agenda. As crazy as it sounds, the most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
Being a master of your time is all about planning, protecting, and leveraging your days. Adopting habits like the ones detailed above can go a long way in saving the day and surging your own productivity.