You can’t survive college (or life) without a good time-management strategy. And while you might think that living in the digital age would make that a breeze, having everything from social media to news and email on your phone can sometimes distract you from what you really need to accomplish.
The good news is, we’re here to help. Check out our top eight time-saving tips to help you manage your busy schedule.
Track Your Time.
Before you can figure out how to save time, you have to learn how you’re wasting it. Spend a week jotting down what you did throughout the day, including everything from meal breaks to time spent on social media. This will help you identify your biggest time wasters and develop a plan to avoid them.
Complete Difficult Tasks First.
Research shows that we’re most productive in the morning before lunch. Take advantage of that by completing your most challenging tasks when the day starts. Work on a term paper before you head to class, or start a research project right before lunch. The latter part of your day should be spent on easier assignments.
Turn Off Phone Notifications.
Go ahead and sync all your email accounts to your phone if it’ll make life more convenient. But keep them from distracting you by switching off your notifications. You can also do the same for social media apps like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — the real time wasters of our day. (But oh hey, while you’re thinking about social media, make sure you’re following Bauer College on all of the things.)
Keep An Idea List.
You know what they say about inspiration — it can strike at any moment. But don’t let it sidetrack you from the task at hand. Keep a notepad nearby to jot down any ideas for projects, gifts or even Halloween costumes when they come to you. Or download a list app like Wunderlist (ioS | Android) to capture all your genius ideas.
Maximize Your “Free” Time.
Use empty time in your day to schedule things you might not otherwise have time for. Listen to an informative podcast during a commute (you’ll have plenty of time in the Houston traffic), or catch up with a friend during your lunch break.
Airplane Mode = Not Just For Flights
Leaving your phone at home might cause separation anxiety, so try something a little less drastic to avoid its distractions. Switch to airplane mode while you study or work on an important assignment. This will keep you from getting sidetracked by incoming messages and notifications (not to mention it’ll also save your battery life).
Avoid Rush Hour.
Meeting a friend for dinner or a movie? Find out when rush hour is — then avoid it at all costs. Going to eat at a slower time of the day means you’ll spend less time in line and waiting for your food. Slow times at a movie theater will increase your chance of finding great seats and even score you cheaper ticket prices.
The best way to make sure you stick to a project of your own (like starting an online business or saving up for a trip) is to keep yourself accountable. Share your goals and progress with a few close friends, or post a teaser announcement on social media. Knowing other people are anticipating your results will keep you motivated to meet your deadlines.
By Priscilla Aceves