I hate being late. I hate it when people are late. I hate it when I am running even a minute late. It gives me a crazy amount of anxiety when I’m late or when people are late. And I don’t mean half an hour late. I mean when people show up like an hour late to a gathering, like how rude??? Also, it feels so much more rewarding doing the stuff you WANT to do like going out with friends at night when you KNOW you’ve finished the work you needed to do. It’s way less stressful and it’s kind of like that feeling when you’re eating ice cream at night, but not feeling as bad because you went to the gym in the morning?
Anyways, my high school cheer coach used to tell us, “EARLY is ON TIME. ON TIME is LATE. And LATE is UNACCEPTABLE”.
What a way to live, right? Actually, personally, I feel it’s always better to be early than on time or “late”. If there’s any skill I’ve mastered in 21 years of living, it’s managing my time LIKE A PRO and time management is a NECESSITY to SUCCESS in the professional world.
Here’s why you should manage your time better: It makes your life EASIER and makes everything run efficient and smooth, so here are some tips and tricks and honestly just some thoughts that run through my brain when I’m managing my time:
- Do “Something” when you have a small break. Whether it’s a break at work or at home between classes, use your time wisely because it goes by fast and you don’t get any of it back. During my breaks throughout college after class and before work, I use that time to eat or shower. Do something productive. Fill that small time span with something you can accomplish quick and easy so you don’t have to do that task in a rush or while multitasking at work or in class.
- Schedule your actual day on a calendar. This may make me sound batsh*t crazy, but my Google calendar is basically my second mom. I schedule an hour for the gym before my internship, schedule my internship, schedule a few hours for homework after and that way I can make sure I am completely free at the time I’m supposed to be. Google calender sends you notifications of your schedule a few minutes beforehand so you know what you have to do next and the time span you have to do it. I schedule my upcoming week during the weekend so I plan it out ahead of time and don’t have to scramble trying to figure out what to prioritize in the moment. Creating a schedule that sends reminder notifications to your phone is the best way to stay organized and remain focused on what’s next. It’s okay to schedule “down-time”, too. I just like to get everything I NEED to get done at a certain time so I can just relax at the end of the night instead of stress about a paper of project. Google calendar is EVERYTHING!
- Dedicate a day to GRIND. I’m so serious. I didn’t start doing this until my senior year of college and I wish I did. It would’ve made my weeks less stressful and help me balance my workload better. I always schedule a specific day and time-frame to do my work for the week. Whether it’s working on a paper and doing other homework or answering emails, I schedule a full day or half a day to accomplish my sh*t. I usually work on the weekends and half the day on Saturdays so I’ll dedicate the first half of my Saturday to sitting down at a coffee shop, ordering a latte and grinding for basically 4-6 hours. Its crazy how much you can get done in little time at a coffee shop versus at home. I usually get most of my assignment, if not all, done during this time. I go to work, stress free because I’m not worrying about doing anything last-minute before sh*t is due on Monday and after I get off work, I can go out to the bars or hang out with friends instead of finishing an assignment. It’ so much more rewarding when you go out knowing you didn’t put off the things you had to do.
- MEAL PREP. GOD. I cannot stress enough how much time meal prepping saves you throughout the week. Cooking takes up so much time during the day and honestly so much effort. It’s easier to dedicate two hours of meal prepping on a Sunday night so you can have everything planned and ready to go, stress free for the rest of your week days. I found this method not only to be time-saving, but also budget-friendly because you don’t spend random money all the time on things to grab and go.
Those are my small and simple steps to help manage your time and make the MOST out every minute, LITERALLY. I know. I’m kind of a freak when it comes to it, but a stress-free life is a happier one and I honestly used to be a lot more stressed out and less productive before I started practicing these methods. I’m not saying EVERYONE has to do these in order to be better at managing their time. You’ll get your groove and figure out what works for you. And if you haven’t, it’s time to wake up and get groovin’.