6 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR TIME EFFECTIVELY WHILE STUDYING AND WORKING
If there is one thing that I’ve learnt since I started studying and working at the same time, it’s that without good time management skills, you are likely to fail and never achieve what you intended to do.
Without time management skills, what was meant to be an incredible journey into the PR world can quickly turn into a nightmare! In one of my first articles, I spoke about the dangers of procrastination but today, I would like to explore a few different ways to improve your time management skills whilst both studying and working.
1.LEARN TO PRIORITISE – I think the most important thing is to have a sense of priority. One of my favourite ways to help me sort out the tasks
that I have to do both for work and varsity is to establish a to-do list. Well I know… we all create to-do lists with the intention of following them and sometimes end up not implementing them all, but the fact is that it still remains one of the best ways to visualise what needs to be done. To avoid not implementing everything written down in those lists, I sometimes only write down three tasks in my to-do list of the day and add tasks to the list once the first three have been completed.
2. SET DEADLINES – Set for yourself a specific amount of minutes/hours to complete a task. You will often notice that working without a deadline causes you to work very slowly simply because you believe that “you have all the time in the world”. Implementing deadlines for every one of your tasks will help you focus, be more efficient and maximise the amount of time allocated.
3. GET RID OF ANY SOURCE OF DISTRACTIONS. Sleepless nights or missed deadlines are sometimes due to the excessive use of social media, cell phones or even TV. Although they are quite useful at times as well one of the best avoidance mechanisms, they can also be some of the biggest drains of productivity! Be conscious of the amount of time you allocate to those and try to use them less – especially when working on tight deadlines.
4. USE TECHNOLOGY TO ITS FULLEST. Studying and completing assignments in groups becomes particularly difficult when one starts working. Fortunately, technology puts endless options at our disposal. To help me get in touch with colleagues while working on group works, I make used of shared Google docs that we can all access and add in information. It works in exactly the same way as a conventional meeting except that there is no physical proximity. Other tools such as Skype, WhatsApp groups or forwarding of emails can also be an effective way of dealing with work or school tasks in groups while not necessarily being in the same geographical area.
5. ASK FOR HELP WHEN AND IF NEEDED. Sometimes, we waste time desperately trying to figure out how to do something instead of simply asking for help. Classmates and colleagues’ assistance is one of the most valuable assets that we should learn to make use of. Requesting help doesn’t only save time, it will also ensure that the work is done by a professional.
6. CREATE A TIME MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. I used to have a huge calendar in my room where I would write down all the tasks that I have to do until I turned to hourly and daily reminders on my Google Calendar. In the same way, I would gladly encourage you to find which time management method suits you best; whether making use of a time management app, or using a mini agenda, a Google Calendar or post-it notes all round your computer screen, try to find the style that suits you best in term of time management and implement it as soon as possible!