How many times have you caught yourself saying, “If only there were more hours in the day!” At OCU, this seems to be a particular problem: even with a to-do list and organization tactics, tasks can pile up in a busy student’s schedule. Important things like sleep, healthy meals, and homework assignments begin to suffer as students attempt to get everything done before the day is through.
Fortunately, there are ways to make the day easier, and use time wisely. Here are a few tips for making the most of each day’s time.
1. Wake up early
The first tip seems almost counter-intuitive: lose more sleeping time in order to get up early? But your early morning hours are often the most productive of the day. Taking a bit of time in the morning to lay out what you need, eat a full breakfast, review or complete assignments, and organize your day can have huge benefits for your schedule. If you complete tasks early enough, you’ll be able to get some much-needed beauty sleep at night, without pulling health-damaging all-nighters.
2. Turn off, tune in
One of the major time wasters in today’s tech age are electronics. It’s very easy to waste whole hours scrolling through Instagram or updating Facebook. Instead, utilize your time wisely: turn off your phone if you’re working on a big project, for example, or go study in the library, where you can be free from television distractions. If you need more control over the power buttons, there are apps which allow you to stay undisturbed and prohibit access to social media sites. Download apps like selfcontrol or Freedom, which allow you to block all social media when working on tasks. Your 15-page research paper will thank you for it.
3. Time lapse
If you have several homework assignments or tasks to complete in one day, consider blocking out a schedule for yourself. Making a time-frame has two benefits: first, you’ll be motivated to get the task done in a timely manner. Second, you won’t spend hours on one task, and leave yourself only minutes for another–or, even more common, decide not to work on it at all.
4. Don’t sweat the small stuff
If you’re like most college students, life can get very stressful, very fast. The day is full of tiny stressors, which can take up a large amount of time. When you begin to be stressed about the amount of tasks you have during the day, take a moment to really think about what you have going on, and prioritize. For example, if you have to complete a paper by tomorrow morning, that is the priority, not your laundry. While it may drive you a bit nuts to wait another day for those clean clothes, it’s actually much better to refocus on the paper and put the laundry from your mind, allowing you to focus. Set your priorities early in the day, while you are preparing for the morning. This way, you won’t remember anything vital at midnight.
5.Do it now
Conversely to the tip above, sometimes it’s important to do things at once, rather than put them off. It can seem tempting to leave responding to emails or phone calls till later, but the piling up of these communications can cause more stress than it’s worth, and lead to mistakes and forgetfulness. Instead, answer and delete the relevant messages. Crossing anything off your list can make your day a little easier.