Have you ever been overwhelmed by lack of time during your academic semester? The awareness of time is very important, especially if you have to handle multiple commitments at the same time. A lot of students tend to work and study at the same time during school semesters. I am also one of those students who have had 2 part-time jobs and a full course load during a semester. Throughout the semester, I have encountered a desperate need to build my skills in time management. Thus, I have come up with three different techniques: 3-Step Deep Breathing Techniques, Setting Up and Looking Over Daily Agendas, and Making Plans on a Weekly Basis.
3-Step Deep Breathing Techniques
What do you do when you feel anxious or overwhelmed by your workload? Poor time management could increase your anxiety and stress level. I have been in this situation and I have managed to teach myself how to follow the 3-step breathing method.
First, you start with counting from 1 to 3 verbally. Do this multiple times until you feel calm and ready to focus your breathing on yourself. Then, whenever you are ready, you would start breathing in for 3 seconds and breathing out for 3 seconds. Repeat this for as many times as you want to make yourself calm and comfortable. Last but not least, when you are comfortable with this breathing technique, try increasing the number of seconds that you are inhaling and exhaling.
Now, you might be wondering why I started explaining the breathing method in this ‘Significance of Time Management’ section. The reason is that you need to prevent yourself from being swamped. In order to plan ahead and organize your workload, it is important to ensure you are mentally capable and ready beforehand.
Setting Up Daily Agendas
Now, onto the topic of time management itself. How do you set up your daily agendas? What is the best way to be prepared for your day? While handling two part time jobs and five academic courses, I have developed my skills in constructing daily agendas every morning. This might sound like a lot of work, however, when you get the hang of it, it is actually very helpful and time-efficient for the rest of your day.
Start writing down big tasks that you need to finish up that day. Next, write down small tasks (or tasks that you like to do for enjoyment) below the big tasks. It is important to keep these agendas realistic. I personally have this problem too, and I tend to be very ambitious when I am writing my agenda and start to plan impossible things. Therefore, being realistic when setting up your daily agendas is very significant.
Once you get the hang of it, creating daily agendas will save you a lot of time and will increase your likelihood of task accomplishment.
Making Plans on a Weekly Basis
It is key to make plans on a weekly basis to confirm your schedule and tasks ahead of the upcoming week. Whenever I get into a situation where I can feel that I would be overwhelmed by my workload throughout the week, I always plan out my upcoming week every Sunday. It does not have to be time-consuming. You just set up some time on Sunday night to distribute your work tasks throughout the week. It sounds like a lot of work at first, however, it will be easy after you make it a habit.
Step 1. Prepare a weekly or annual planner where you can write down your plans on a weekly basis.
Step 2. Set up some time every Sunday to plan for the coming week.
Step 3. Start planning for the week by inputting big projects or assignments that are due during the week or shortly after.
Step 4. Write down small or recurring assignments (due on a weekly or daily basis)
Step 5. Enjoy your week 🙂
In conclusion, 3-Step Deep Breathing Techniques, Setting Up and Looking Over Daily Agendas, and Making Plans on a Weekly Basis are useful tools related to time management. You can start off by trying out at least one of the methods listed here to see if it is right for you. For more information about time management, you can check out our other blog posts, such as this one about time management, preparation and stress management in exams and visit the time and task management section of the ASC website.