Schedule times to check messages and social media
- Switch your phone to airplane mode, log out of Instagram, turn off Facebook notifications, use a website blocker to limit time spent on certain websites, or use an app to track and limit social media use on your phone.
- Do whatever it takes to avoid being interrupted every few minutes by notifications.
First get it done, then make it better
- Don’t be too much of a perfectionist as you move through your list of things to do. Focus on getting each item done, rather than always getting it done perfectly. Once all the items are done, spend whatever time you have left on making them better.
- Make sure you always turn in something for every assignment, even if it’s not always your best work.
Stop to ask yourself: “What should I be doing right now?”
- Before starting or switching to a new task, stop to ask yourself, “What should I be doing right now?” Check your priority list for the day and week, and make sure that you spend time on the most important and most urgent items.
- Go for a quick walk, talk to a friend, eat a nice lunch, etc. Giving your brain and body a rest will make you more productive in the long run.
- Be realistic about your daily energy patterns. Complete important tasks when your energy is at its peak, and save more routine tasks for when your energy is lower.
- A 6-minute guide to effective time-management
Create priority lists
- Create a list of priorities on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis, and organize it so that the most important and time pressing items will be completed first.
Add assignment due dates to your calendar
- At the beginning of each semester, go through the syllabus for each class and add assignment due dates to your calendar or planner.
Schedule time to work on assignments
- Once you have assignment due dates on your calendar or planner, work backwards to find specific days and times when you can work on each assignment. Estimate how many hours you think it will take you to complete the assignment, and then add a little more in case it takes longer than you expect.
- Don’t forget to schedule time to practice a presentation! Give yourself time to run through the entire presentation at least 3 times.
Schedule time to study for exams
- The best exam preparation is spread out over several days, so plan in advance to make sure that you don’t have to cram at the last minute.
- Schedule a time to study with friends. You’ll all learn more, and you’re less likely to blow it off!
- Enter the due date and pick from a list of common college assignments to get step-by-step instructions of what to do when to ensure that you submit great work on time
- Breaking the research process down into steps can help keep you on track and make the process feel more manageable. This worksheet will help you set deadlines for each step in the process.
- Tips and templates for creating a semester plan with all of your assignment due dates and other commitments
- Tips and templates for creating a weekly schedule
Get yourself started
- Commit to the task for five minutes. At the end of that five minutes, decide whether you’ll commit for another five. Continue this pattern until you complete the task, run out of time or have a good reason to stop.
Find manageable chunks
- It may be tempting to put off a project that is large and intimidating. Find a way to break up a big job into smaller tasks. Then go step by step until your project is completed.
- While on the first step, don’t think about the second step; just think about the step that’s being done and move forward.
Enjoy the fun parts
- If you don’t know where to start, take care of the easiest and most enjoyable parts of the job first. Then move on to the bigger parts once you’ve got momentum going.
Employ positive self-talk
- Change your thinking from “This is very difficult or boring” to “I really want to do this. I can do this. I want to get this over with.”
- Find more tips and advice through the IBH Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
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