The one thing that absolutely all people on the planet have in common is time. The way people arrange their time directly depends on themselves. Sooner or later we wonder about the rational use of time during the day. To manage everything, you need to plan your day in advance.
You can plan for today, 7 days, month, quarter, 6 months, a year, and so on. Regardless of whether a person is self-employed, or works for the company, the person is often judged on his responsibility and ability to do everything in time. Planning for the day in detail is a must.
You need to plan your daily schedule to see what you can finish within the day, what you didn’t manage to accomplish, and what tasks can be removed. If you see a clear structure of the day in front of you, you can get a lot more done. Also, at any moment you can determine the free time for additional activities. A planned day will allow you to properly navigate both in space and time.
To learn how to plan your day properly, you need to allocate things according to the factor of importance. This will teach you the value of time.
#1 Identify your work zones
Your work zones are the time slots during the day when you are at the peak of your productivity. I’m not talking about when you’re most creative, although that’s good to know, too. I mean periods of time when you can just start working at maximum of your effectiveness.
You might have it daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Others, like me, don’t have it as regularly. As a student, you need to be really careful about the way you schedule your activities. It is really easy to forget something or prioritize entertainment over working or studying during those golden hours when you are productive.
Maybe you already know the time slot when you are most effective during the day, maybe you need to conduct an experiment and figure it out. You are way more productive during your working zones, which allows you to accomplish more and faster and move on to something else.
Knowing your work areas allows you to schedule tasks that are best suited for your current priority.
#2: Get your priorities straight.
Finding things to do is easy. I can look in my inbox at any moment and lose a few hours. Not to mention social media. But after all, I’m communicating about studying or googling subjects related to learning, so that’s fine. Right?
The bitter truth is that the huge amount of the tasks we spend time on doesn’t bring us closer to our major goals or doesn’t provide us with money.
To make sure I’m productive on Monday, I set my priorities straight on Sunday evening. Going to sleep knowing for sure what you are going to do first thing in the morning feels great.
I think through my goals for the week and separately for each of the days and then create a plan to tackle single tasks. This is when the priorities emerge. I don’t need to do everything. I only need to do the important things.
You need to answer the following questions:
- What will help me reach my goals?
- What is a must-do?
- What can wait?
- What don’t I need to do at all?
It is important to create daily plans prior to looking at social media or emails. Otherwise, productivity will be unsettled.
It’s easy to forget the sense of peace and focus on a to-do list that takes three people and 37 hours a day to accomplish. Such a to-do list will make you feel like a failure, even if you study non-stop and don’t take a lunch break.
I have one task per day that leads to important goals, like working on a project that is important and takes a lot of time.
In addition to that there is an urgent task that needs my attention in a timely manner. It might be an email to the professor or an online lecture that cannot be postponed.
I strive not to have more than 5 tasks per day on my list, since the more tasks I have, the bigger the feeling of pressure that is counterproductive. So, 5 tasks is just enough.
How about other not prioritized things on the list?
I put them on my “Other” list and either do them later or they are automatically dismissed since they were never really important.
This system of prioritization is universal for learning objectives and for personal goals.
#3: Use calendar blocks.
I adore calendars, and I have them synced with my every device.
All your study, entertainment, and extracurricular activities can be compiled into a Google calendar.
Each entry has a different color, so I can immediately see what the time slot is for – work, study, meeting, podcasting, or entertainment. Pink is for entertainment if you’re interested. To increase the productivity of the work zones, I write tasks in a calendar.
The advantage of this approach is that your desk will remind you when it’s time to stop creating slides for a key presentation and look for college essay help online or start writing it yourself. It also helps to see where you have free time, so there’s no need to do mental gymnastics and figure out if you have time to go out.
#4: Carve out time to let your hair down.
Becoming a master of time management will allow you to be way more effective.
But let’s be honest: It’s exhausting.
After all, we’re not machines. We usually want to get the most out of the limited time we have, but we don’t want our minds to become exhausted by the end of the day.
Taking breaks helps, but I also allow myself to distract a bit, to give my brain time to relax, to dream, to just do my own thing.
I set aside 30 minutes for resting or just daydreaming. During that time I can just stare out the window. Grab a drink. Take the dog for a walk to let the creativity flow. I usually use that time to continue with the essay that is taking longer than I wanted.
It’s a zone when the day doesn’t go as planned. It happens and we need to accept it as a fact.
Make sure to follow this system and time-management skills will definitely clear up your schedule, mind and help you with studying.