Do you ever find yourself late to class? Snoozing in? Or procrastinating and spending more time on something that should have taken half of the time? 😛 We have all been there. Back in High School, my teachers kept praising and talking about “time management” but seldom did they explain how to manage time and maximize productivity. This is something I had to learn on my own and I got better at it when I came to America.
In my previous post here I wrote a list of things that I learnt about living in America. One lesson in particular is: “Time is Money.” Meaning, time is very precious so use it wisely. And as you get older you will have more responsibilities and less time to relax. But don’t be afraid. By organizing you can prioritize tasks that need to get done and allocate time to rewind, relax and destress.
It is very important to make time for you and the things that you love. We are not robots. We are humans. If we work all the time we will be burnt out. We have emotions and we need to enjoy life right? Whether its reading, cooking, going shopping, meeting friends, sleeping and so on… make sure you do what you love. Don’t forget about your hobbies and passions. It is what makes you emotionally happy and you need to take care of yourself in order to get through your schedule.
I truly believe that with the right time management tools you will be effective and efficient! I love the feeling of doing my tasks within a short reasonable amount of time. Why? Because I have so much to do in a day and I want some “me time” at night; to relax & gather my thoughts and feelings after a long day of school and gym. I workout/train 5x a week, so I definitely need some “me time” after a strenuous day 😉 My days are color coded and very realistic. I even put the exact time I step foot in the gym and leave the gym. I take my time at the gym/school/appointments seriously. This is how I can get so much done and actually have time for myself to watch Netflix afterwards. I just started watching Reign and I’m addicted!
Make it a habit of asking yourself what you need to get done. Ask yourself:
- Is this task urgent or non-urgent? Can I leave this task for tonight?
- What will happen if I do not accomplish this task today?
- Will I be happy & satisfied if I get this task done before my other tasks? Will it keep me on schedule?
Please also take into consideration the time it takes to travel from your place to your appointment/meeting. Traffic is always going to happen even if your brain refuses to acknowledge it. Make sure you note the time you need to get ready and the time you need to step foot out of the house. I’ve had so many embarrassing stories where I left the house during the time of my appointment thinking I could get there in 2mins 😮 Don’t do this! Ahhhh people will find you unreliable. So lesson learnt.
The purpose of this post is to help you plan your day effectively & efficiently. Let’s break it down:
Effectively means prioritizing which task is urgent and which task is non-urgent. The reality is we all want to get everything done at a certain time but sometimes things happen and you can’t get everything done. Be realistic and pick things that you can accomplish within that time frame. For example: Tuesdays and Thursdays are my longest days. So I run my errands on Monday and Wednesday. I do my errands on shorter days because I know for sure that I’m feeling less tired since I don’t have many classes. The last thing I want to do is run errands after the gym. I’m too sore for that.
Efficiently means getting your task done with the least amount of time. Now when I say efficiently I do not mean rushing for the sake of finishing something. Quality over quantity always! What I mean is doing a task and knowing when you will begin and end. Having a designated time. You need to know when you’ll finish. This is very important so you can do your other things that you planned for the day.
You know while writing this post, it just made me think that life in America is very fast-paced compared to Vietnam. Perhaps, I am doing more things on my own so it takes up the whole day. Or because while living in Vietnam with my family I relied heavily on my parents.
I know America can be overwhelming at times and you want to give up but I know you can do it because I did.
Here is how to be organized and take control of your day:
- Google Calendar: I used to think that managing your time meant having multiple calendars, expensive fancy planners but really all you need is Google Calendar. Its free. You can use it on your laptop to create events, edit the time of the event, color code (YES!!! I love color coding) and Google Calendar sends you a reminder before each event . I use Google Calendar religiously. I really cannot emphasize a better way. You only need one calendar. Keep it simple and have everything in one place.
- Target Planners or Passion Planners : If you’re the type of person that likes to write things down & decorate and all that jazz don’t worry! There is Passion Planners! It has moleskin leather on the outside and a weekly agenda inside. But, if you don’t want to spend that kind of money on a planner: target planners are the way to go!
Remember, keep it simple. You are the only person that can access your planner so don’t be afraid to make it look messy! Have fun, write quotes, add pictures do whatever it takes to make your experience of reading your planner an enjoyable one. Since I only use google calendar I put a lot of motivation gym/lifting quotes to get me pumped.
I hope you like this post, I just finished two midterms and I can’t wait for this weekend!
What should I write for my next post? Is there something you want me to talk or explain further in detail about living in America as a foreign student? I love hearing your feedback and reading your comments.
A big hug from me to you 🙂
Bisous et bonne nuit <3