Let’s talk about time wasters. We all
have unproductive habits like not keeping a schedule or procrastinating.
Without a schedule you end up missing appointments, deadlines, and meetings. But
sometimes we like to do things that are fun instead of doing the things we
should actually do. So in other words we procrastinate. Check out James who often chooses to
take a nice long three-hour nap or hang out with his friends instead of doing
homework or studying for his exams. Trust me, there is no shortage of distractions
and time wasters. Facebook and Twitter can waste a lot of time. Video games and
surfing the web can also kill many hours of productive work time. But we know it
isn’t realistic to cut out all these activities and you shouldn’t have to. So
set some limits for yourself. Set out a certain amount of time every day for you
to engage in these activities and keep yourself in check. And when you realize
that you’re putting off important tasks, ask yourself if you’re procrastinating.
Then challenge yourself to get started. There are many strategies that can help.
One of the most popular is a schedule. Schedules can help you organize and
prioritize. There are three different types of schedules you can use. The first is a long-term schedule and this breaks down your year into semesters or quarters. This
helps you to see the big picture. How will your semester look and what are the
major events coming up? Ensure you include holidays and all of your
commitments: academic and non-academic. Notice when big assignments are due and
how much time you have between each. The next kind of schedule you can put
together is your intermediate or weekly schedule. Use an agenda with time slots
if possible and begin by listing all major events and how long each will take.
It’s important to prioritize these tasks. This helps you determine what to focus
on accomplishing that week. Each year, HSF prints weekly student agendas that
are free of charge. Make sure you pick one up! Being flexible and realistic is
very important. Allow for emergencies as they may come up and you’ll need to make some changes. Also don’t get too caught up in details
because you may set yourself up for failure. If you have a packed schedule
and something does not go according to plan, your entire day’s thrown off. If
you’re too focused on doing everything the way you first planned it, you may find it
difficult to stick to your schedule and end up throwing it out the window. Lastly
make room for living. Make sure if there’s a balance in your life to ensure
your overall wellness. Make sure you leave time to eat, sleep and relax. The third
and last type of schedule is a daily schedule, also known as a to-do list.
Start by making a list for each day in the order of priority. You should almost
always plan to do the most important things first. They become your highest
priority. As you complete your tasks, remember to check them off your list. If
something does not get accomplished that day it should go to the top of the
next day’s list so it’s not forgotten. Carry your to-do list with you so that you
can refer to it during the day.