How I Manage My Time
A common question I get asked is, "How do you have time to do everything that you do?" There honestly is not one straightforward answer to this question and this is actually a question I'm still trying to figure out the answer to. However, I can share a few tips that I've learned along the way that really help me to manage all of my different involvements and stay sane at the same time.
To start off, the best way to make sure that you are productively using every hour of every single day is to utilize a planner. I myself use a Passion Planner because the planner itself already separates each day hour by hour. I essentially plan out my days hour by hour whether it's study time, reading time, gym time, meeting time, or class time. Anything you can think of that takes up time in your day should be written down. This is the best way to maximize every single hour of your day and make sure that you're being as productive as possible. Most important of all, I think it is important to at the least always give one hour to yourself every day to do what it is you like to do. Whether it's reading, listening to music, watching an episode of your favorite show, or maybe even going to the gym. As we all know the biggest distractor in today's day and age is social media. We can find ourselves on our social media outlets for hours on end and not even realize that we've wasted so much time. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that you are not spending more than an hour on social media per day. Deleting the app or just using your own self control can help monitor your social media usage. Be sure to follow that rule and I can guarantee you that your days will definitely feel more productive.
Another important aspect that I use to properly manage my time and all of my responsibilities is as simple as a to do list. As my day goes on and I'm reading emails, talking to coworkers or fellow student leaders and they ask me to do certain tasks I write it down right away on my to do list. I found that before I did this I was trying to memorize everything in my head and that was unknowingly stressing me out and making me feel very overwhelmed. Once I write down all of my tasks on my to do list I remove it from my thoughts because I know it's on my list and at some point when I allocate enough time I will get it done. Not to mention, it's the best feeling ever crossing off completed tasks on your to do list. This is also an amazing feature that I love about the Passion Planner.
Lastly I think it is important to never bite off more than you can chew; as my mom constantly tells me. Although it is great to be involved in many different areas and to take on many different leadership roles, it is always important to remember that you never want to burn out. Since my freshman year due to my many involvements people always told me that I was bound to get burned out by the time I was a junior because of everything that I had going on. From that moment on I was determined to make sure that would not happen. So far I have not burned out and that is because of the way I properly manage my time and my ability to say no to things. Which leads me to my next point, it is OK to say no to someone and maybe redirect them to someone else who can help them, it is OK to say no to a leadership position and suggest it to someone else who might be just as capable of filling the role, it is OK to say no to a responsibility that you believe you will not be learning or growing from as an individual. You never want to take on more responsibilities than you can handle because some responsibilities will be going to suffer more than others. All of the positions and the tasks that you take on you should be able to fully commit to 100%. So with that being said, although it's hard to sometimes say no it is definitely a good skill to learn because you never want to burn out or feel stressed and overwhelmed.
The biggest lesson of them all that I have learned regarding my time management is that I only take on roles and responsibilities that I am extremely passionate about and that I know will contribute to my personal and professional growth. After all, that is what these roles are meant for. They are meant to help you learn, grow, and gain transferrable skills for your future career path. However, that growth and that development will not come if it's not something that you're passionate about and that you enjoy doing every day. On the other hand, I do encourage you to take on positions or responsibilities that may be foreign or new to you. Experiencing different types of roles in a variety of fields will help you narrow down what is you want to do for the rest of your life. I guarantee you that if all of your tasks and commitments align with your passion it will not feel like a long and busy day. Instead your days will be filled with so much productiveness and by the end of the day you'll feel so accomplished.
To sum this all up:
Get a planner
Plan out your days hour by hour
Have a to do list
Give yourself at least one hour a day for YOU time
Learn how to say no
Take on roles and responsibilities that contribute to your growth
As always, follow your passion
I hope that in some way these tips can help you to manage your time more effectively and efficiently!