24 hours is all we get, and it never feels like enough. Are you constantly running late, can never find anything you’re looking for, or always doing assignments last minute? Then this blog is for you.
First, make a list of all of the critical things you need to do weekly – laundry, cook, be physically active, call your mom, etc. Next, list the critical things to get done each day of the week – get to work or class by 1pm, complete biology assignments, eat between chemistry and statistics, etc. Make a list of the top three important tasks each day and coordinate with weekly tasks. For example, if you want to do laundry weekly, try to make it a priority every Sunday.
Ok, you’ve got your three daily goals, now how do you actually make these happen? If your goal is to leave the house by 9, try simplifying the process of getting dressed by picking out your clothes the night before. Or, make your outfits simpler.
Improving time management is all about removing obstacles, like trying to figure out what to wear. Simplify the path of deciding what to wear by pairing down your daily closet to items that you can easily mix and match. These days it’s cool to wear clothes over again, because it makes you more sustainable. So, all you need is a few simple outfits. Think through every part of your morning to find your hurdles then think of ways to make them shorter, so you can actually jump over them.
Always have a plan B at the ready so you’re not scrambling to make things work. Getting caught off guard is never fun, but if you’re prepared you can minimize the damage. If you need to shower in the morning but you’re running late, have dry shampoo at the ready. No time to prep a lunch that day? Have a few frozen meals on hand.
Lastly, find some small rewards for getting tasks done. Once I get my three goals accomplished I get to…relax in a warm bath, watch a Netflix show, play a video game. You get the idea – find something you’ll look forward to.
Time management is ultimately just you becoming an expert of your own life. If you know yourself and your schedule, then you can figure out how to make it work for you. Take the time on a weekly or daily basis to set your goals and figure out how to make them easier. Work smarter not harder! Oh, and of course, meet with a UCAN health coach and we can help you troubleshoot.
In the meantime, here are a few other easy modifications to help you get’er done:
- Pack your lunch the night before.
- Prepare meal staples over the weekend, such as cooking your rice and chicken, and chopping up vegetables and putting them into baggies.
- Set phone alarms or calendar reminders at the beginning of the day or week of tasks to stay on track. For example, if you plan to study chemistry on Tuesdays from 2-4, write “study history” in your calendar.
- Turn off distractions (phone, email, etc.) when you need to get stuff done.
- If spending an hour at the gym sounds like too much, just go for a 20-minute walk instead, or try out a short YouTube exercise video.
- Multitask, when possible. Keep flashcards in your bag so you can study while waiting at the doctor’s office.
Emily Verebelyi, Health Coach