Yearbooks | Blog

September 28, 2015

9 Practical Tips for Time Management

The season of fall means crisp mornings, boots, football, pumpkin flavored everything, and school. It is practically impossible to stay on task when all you want to do is soak up the last moments of warmth with your friends and family. Believe me there is nothing more addicting and tempting than the warm rays of sunshine and soft grass. However, school (or work) has started and the homework has begun to pile up. This is something that we have all dealt with, and it never gets easier.

As a professional procrasti-baker (person who bakes when they should be getting other things done), I know how difficult it is to keep your mind on one thing. Thanks to my intensive research and experiments I have compiled a list that is sure to help you find new ways of staying on task and getting things done!

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1. Make a Plan

This point goes very closely with the next one, it is important to have a plan before you begin a project. However, make sure you do not over-plan your project. You only want to write down enough to remind you of what to do, not every detail. When we focus on the details we get too caught up in the planning part of the project and don’t actually do the project.

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2. Use a Calendar

To help you with the previous tip try using a calendar or a planner to organize your days and projects into bite-sized pieces that are easier to keep up with. This way you can look back and keep track of what you did when and what is left to be done. If you can’t find something that suits your needs a lined journal often works well.

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3. Know Your Deadlines

Using that wonderful calendar you now have for keeping track of your projects, put in your deadlines and work backwards adding reminders for smaller personal deadlines. It is easier to split big projects into smaller deadlines so you’re not rushing to get it all done at the end.

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4. Learn to Say “No”

This is one that I often struggle with a lot, it is very easy to take on more than you can handle. Make sure you don’t sign up for too many school groups or extra-curricular projects so you have the time to complete everything.

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5. Block Out Distractions

When you really need to get work done, find a space where no one can bother you. Turn off the internet and shut off your phone, focus on the job at hand, and make sure that all distractions are minimized.

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6. Prioritize

Organize your assignment list first by deadline, then by size. The larger projects should get done first so you can finish the small ones off when you don’t have as much time.

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7. Take Breaks

No one can live forever (except maybe the energizer bunny) and I don’t care how many energy drinks you have, everybody needs a break. When I say that you need a break, I don’t mean that you should look at Facebook for half an hour instead of writing your paper. I mean you need to step away from the computer, take your dog for a walk, bake some cookies, and do something that does not require you to look at a computer screen. You will end up being more productive in the end and your brain will thank you. However, don’t use breaks as an excuse for not doing your work…we all know how that ends…in no sleep and poorly written papers.

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8. Sleep

Or, maybe when you’re taking a well needed break you could take a nap. Sleep is one of the best things you can do when you’re in studying mode. It helps you to memorize and keeps your brain in the best possible condition for learning. I know there are way cooler things you could be doing, but sleeping for 7-9 hours is way better for you and feels so good.

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9. Work Earlier, Not Later

I have not always followed my own advice on this one. There have been many times when I have stayed up way past my bed time to complete a project. However, I know from experience and in talking to others that the best work gets done with a well rested mind. So instead of staying up till 3AM to finish a paper, go to bed and wake up early. I can guarantee you that with a cup of coffee, the sunrise and your brilliant mind will surprise you.

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What About You?

All of that being said, it is up to you to know how to best manage your own time. Do you have anything that works really well for you? Tips of your own that you would love to share? We would love to hear from you and post some of your favourite time management tips to our blog and Facebook next month. Send us a message on Facebook, bonus points if you include a picture!

Yours Truely,
Bethany Epp
Yearbook Marketing Coordinator