Time management has always been a huge problem for procrastinators, like myself, but over the last four years I've discovered how to manage time like a pro!
I did not attend a "normal" high school. I went to an all girls, semi-catholic, college prep school. Contrary to other schools like mine, we did not have uniforms, we had no dress code actually, our classes were an hour and a half long and it was not a strict school. One of the values that my school had was preparing us for life without someone constantly checking over your shoulder.
They did this by giving us 45 minutes - and hour and half (sometimes more depending on your schedule) everyday of just free-time: there was no study hall or teachers watching you. You could go home, go get food, watch TV on your computer, or study. Having this time everyday seriously taught me how to manage my time wisely, and not waste it all on Netflix.
As a freshman you only got maybe 45 minutes every other day, and since there wasn't a ton of homework freshman year, we all pretty much wasted our frees gossiping or listening to music; but as the years went on, and we got more work (and more frees), we realized we could use this time to do some work, instead of waiting until 6:00pm when sports got out. I still use the time management technique I learned with the help of my high school everyday, and I plan to continue to use in college since classes are more spread out, similar to my my high school.
Here's what I do:
As you may have read in my Desk Organization post, I keep an agenda religiously. At the beginning of every month I sit down, with my planner, and write down any events I know are going on that month: work days, birthdays, trips, meetings, parties, and if I'm in school, any assignments I know are due that month. I write in in both the monthly outbreak section and in the weekly outbreak section. Every Sunday I do the same thing, but for the week adding in anything I want to get done; like a trip to the gym or a yoga class.
Once I have my weekly calendar filled I figure out what I have to do to complete different things. For instance if I have a paper due on Friday I write down what I have to do for the paper each day: ex. Monday-gather notes, Tuesday-make and outline, Wednesday-rough draft, Thursday-proof read/make adjustments, Friday-print out final paper (I'll have to do another post on How-To Write Essays). I physically set aside however much time I think I need for specific assignments I need to finished, whether that be at work or in school, into my planner each day.
At the end of everyday I look at what I had to get done that day, what I actually got done, and what I need to do tomorrow, so I can plan my day accordingly.
The key to time management is understanding that you may not get everything you wanted done, or you may get more than you expected done. Don't be discouraged if you didn't read the number of pages you wanted to, just allot yourself more time to complete the additional reading the next day. Figuring out how you work the best and how much time you need to do certain things is essential in organizing your day. Scheduling time to relax and do something you enjoy is equally as important as scheduling time for work, If you don't give yourself your daily gym break or time to watch your favorite shows newest episode, you won't enjoy your day, and you'll end up overworked.