I’m back from my hiatus. With turning in my senior capstone project, a 300 bug specimen project, finals, and working at different part time jobs, it didn’t leave me much time to write a blog post. However, I’m working on a few new posts about a topic I’m super passionate about! They all will come out soon! I’ll give you a clue, what does shrimp, mangroves, and family have in common?
These past few weeks, I’ve reflected on how I manage my time. With the end of 2017, I reflected on how my time management was key in accomplishing my past goals. While I accomplished some goals, there was still plenty of room for improvement. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this.
With computers, television, games, and phones, it is easy to lose an hour or two on distractions. Many also complain of not having enough time due to the overwhelming amount of obligations they have. How do we have time to do the things we want when we’re too busy to even accomplish important tasks? Since you can’t add any more hours to a day, the answer is better time management. In the next 10 steps, I’ll explain how I followed these steps to make a plan for myself, so just follow along. The first step in getting more time in your day is…
1) Find out how you’re already using your time!
I mapped out the top ten things that take up the majority of my time:
- My jobs
- My boyfriend/friends
- Reading books
- Social media
- Church activities
- Talking to my family
2) Write down your top 10 most important things to you.
As for me they are (&these aren’t written in any specific order):
- My family
- Finishing my degree
- Making money for school/living expenses
- My spirituality/religion
- My boyfriend/friends
- Learning new skills (career related)
- Getting real world experience pertaining to my degree
- Personal well-being
3) Compare your use of time list with your top priorities list.
Are there any major differences in what is most important to you and how you spend your time? People always say that one can see what one values the most in what they spend their time on. If they aren’t matching up, maybe some changes need to be made.
I found that while I was spending time on many important things like my schoolwork and jobs, I wasn’t spending enough time on getting actual experiences and skills to help me in my future career. I also wasn’t spending enough time on taking care of my health or personal well-being while I was spending too much time on entertainment (guiltily looks at Netflix).
4) Map out what a typical day looks like for you.
Here’s an example of a typical day for me:
- 8:45 AM- Wake up, quickly get dressed, grab breakfast, and be out the door in time to catch the 9:05 bus
- 9:30 to 5 PM- In class with time for lunch in between. Going to work when I get out of class.
- 5 to 7 PM- Either still studying if it’s a super heavy day or heading home and eating dinner
- 7 PM to 12 AM- Either still studying or if I’m done, partying it up with people or eating nachos. Or hot cocoa. That’s pretty typical for me too.
- 12 AM- Shower and go to bed
5) Identify your least productive hours.
Examine where in your day you are doing things that don’t reflect what your top priorities are. For my own example, if my top priorities are my health and personal well-being, I should wake up earlier to make more time to actual eating a nutritious breakfast and getting some exercise in. My least productive hours are the ones I waste before I even wake up!
6) Turn your least productive hours into your most productive hours.
Do this by looking at the previous list you made with your top priorities. See where you can put in priorities that you aren’t currently making time for. Two of my priorities are mostly ignored throughout the week. Getting real world experience and new skills to apply to my career may seem like they can’t be done in my least productive hours in the morning. However, I could easily wake up a half hour earlier and listen to podcasts that teach valuable skills. I could also use that time to search for people on linkedin to connect with and ask questions pertaining to whatever I’m researching at the time.
7) Make a plan incorporating your changes.
For my example:
- 7:45 AM- Wake up! 🙂 NOT rushed, eat a big breakfast, make a good lunch. While eating, listen to an educational podcast or audio book.
- 8:15 AM- Do some yoga and plan out the day
- 8:45 AM- Get dressed and dolled up
- 9:05 AM- Catch the bus
- 9:30 AM to 5 PM- Go to class and go to work whenever class is over. Eat lunch in between.
- 5 to 7 PM- Do homework, eat dinner, do more homework until done.
- 7 PM to 11 PM- free time to relax or kick it with the homies. OR more homework you know, whatever.
- 11 PM- Shower and go to bed!
8) Live the changes.
The only thing left to do bask in the satisfaction knowing you are not any more busy, just using the time you already have more wisely. Because time is the one of the most important resources we have, time management is a skill all should master. While money can buy a lot of things, it can’t buy us more time. By utilizing the time you already have to get more accomplished, you may also find that you have more time to do the things you enjoy doing!
I hope this helps you out! Feel free to reach out to me for any other questions pertaining to this or anything else.
Have another fantastic week!