Liza's Blog: Methods to better time management
Heya everyone. It’s the very beginning of March and also about 5 weeks before the end of the semester! (Yes! Already!)
To finish the year properly, I wanted to offer you some advice about time-management and organization tips. Before we start, let me say that these methods might not work for everyone and it is okay. Everyone is special and it can take time to find your own way of working, you might even change after a few years or months.
First I would like to present you to one really good creation, called the Bullet Journal.
It's the middle ground between an agenda and a planner. You can go through different styles from minimalistic to artistic and adapt everything to your own life. It has been 4 years since I started doing Bullet Journaling and it's made such a big change in my life! I’ve been way more organized than I was before, and I like the “adaptable” side of it. No more problems looking for THE perfect agenda (even though you might still spend some time looking for the perfect (dotted) notebook for your BuJo now).
I am not going to explain the whole Bullet Journal thing as it may take a while but these articles will help:
I just want to say that using a Bullet Journal might be the first step for your time-management. As you’re writing down your tasks for every day and noting all of your events, etc, you won’t get lost between your phone calendar-app, your agenda and then other random notes. Everything is in one place in your Bullet Journal and this is life-awesome (at least for me, and the big community of Bullet Journalists). I don’t know what I would do without it today!
Here's some advice that I have taken from Bullet Journal and readapted to myself but they can work perfectly without a Bullet Journal too (although, are you sure you don’t need one?)
Every Sunday, write your list of tasks. These can be done during the week or later but if you don’t write them, you will never do them. After you have written this (big) to-do list, you can now prioritize and give some hierarchy to the tasks. Exclamation marks or stars next to the most important ones, dates next to the deadlines…And then you attribute one task or two (or more if it's doable) to one particular day. This way you won’t be overwhelmed by the work.
My other advice is to assign some days to some subjects and try to keep it as a routine (especially if your timetable stays the same for the semester). Routine is key for time-management. When you have a habit, it stays with you so you will eventually do it automatically. Also, try to not review the same subject two days in a row, leave your brain some air. For some memory tricks, if you work on the subject, the day before you have classes, it will help you to concentrate and understand more while in lecture. Write that on your timetable and schedule it.
If you combine the two methods up there, you will end up with something similar to this...
This way your week is organized and all the tasks are distributed evenly. Hang this on your desk and try to follow it as much as possible. BUT don’t worry if you don’t, sometimes other things are happening and it is life, don’t feel bad about it.
As we're approaching the end of the semester, try to schedule your revision for a test one week in advance and for exams, two weeks. That way, you won’t be rushed by the time, and it gives your brain some distraction because you won’t be studying the last two days before the test.
Try during those weeks to schedule study sessions with your friends or classmates, so you can test each other and try to explain each-others work. This way, if you couldn't explain the subject well, you know there's still some work to be done.
My final bit of widsom is to share some apps that I find useful and use sometimes that you may not have heard of before. First is Toggl (on the phone and web). It helps you to track your productivity which can be really rewarding and satisfying to see your progress. It can also help you to understand how much time you need to spend on some tasks and reschedule your planning.
The second one is Momentum – quite nice if you use your laptop a lot. This web extension creates a new tab with random (nice and dreamful) pictures and gets a little every-day quote. It adds a to-do list in the bottom-right corner, which can be always visible and can also help you to remember what you need to do.
Thank you for reading this so far and don’t be scared to share your methods ;)
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