Time management has always been an issue, now more than ever. Previously, our lives had been in a structure that was in place for a very long time.
Now suddenly, we have a lot of time on our hands with so many options to fill it. One can easily get overwhelmed by everything. Everyone wants to make the most of this time and accomplish a lot of things. But, everything starts slipping out of our hands without proper organization.
So, here is how you can manage time for your online classes and other activities so that it doesn’t get bigger than you.
Make a plan
Before starting anything, the first thing one does is a plan for it. List out everything you want to do and have to do. For example, if your school has started online, then it is one of the things you have to do (whether you like it or not).
Once you include this in your plan, you can add the rest. Make a long term plan for at least two to three months. Jot down all the points that can become an obstacle in this regime.
Think of how you can deal with these problems should they occur.
Set your targets. Make sure that your targets are realistic. It is okay if you make it a target to do fifteen things instead of ten things, it will push your boundaries.
But taking up twenty instead of five is not feasible. It doesn’t matter how many responsibilities you take.
What matters is how many do you actually complete? Break your bigger targets into smaller targets. This way, it will be easier to track your progress.
Have a weekly timetable
You don’t achieve big goals by waving a magic wand. It is a continuous process. For example, if one of your aims is learning to play the piano, then you have to make time for it in your day to day life.
How else will you achieve that target at the end? And how do you make time? You make a time table for it. Focus on the smaller targets while making a weekly timetable.
You can see for yourself how much is possible in a week and then you can readjust your goals. If the developments go unchecked for a long time, then it will be strenuous to adapt.
Prioritize your work. Do your work on a priority basis. The task that commands higher precedence should be first. It is not feasible that you can get everything done every time.
There are a lot of factors that you cannot control. For example, if you get extra homework today and you have a target to complete it today, then you have to make a decision.
When is every assignment due? The one with the closest deadline gets a higher preference. Then a day before the deadline, if the task is not yet complete, it takes the highest priority.
This way, you will not have to sacrifice your other activities and your entertainment time.
Don’t choose a thousand activities.
It is nice that you want to do so many things. But be wary of your limits. You are a human being, not a machine. Don’t take up so many activities that you cannot even complete one.
Choose a handful of projects and execute them to perfection. You should also have time to relax and have fun. These things are important too.
All work and no play will make you dull (not Jack, he learned his lesson a long time ago). Usually, when you think of doing such things, you do it for one day, and then you are so tired that you never do any of it again.
Have breathing time
Don’t make an unrealistic time table. For instance, you have your online class from 2 to 4, and then directly 4 to 6, you have another activity.
No buffer at all! Have some time in between. You need time to process all the previous things and then gear up for the next event.
Also, there can be some unavoidable circumstances for which you need to have some reserved time so that it doesn’t affect your productivity.
Keep the schedule flexible and yourself disciplined.
Most of the time, people tend to do the opposite. Making a rigid timetable is not the solution. You can have as many timetables as you want, but you cannot abide by them if you are not organized.
The timetable is not going to do your work. It is just an outline that will help you fulfill your targets. Keep the schedule as adjustable as possible so that you can keep yourself in check with fewer efforts.
Multitasking is not about doing everything at once.
“The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.”-Mozart
Multitasking does not mean you do everything simultaneously. It means you will organize yourself in such a way that you will complete everything in a short amount of time.
If you are attending an online class and watching TV at the same time, then you can neither concentrate on having fun while watching TV nor your studies.
Do one thing at a time. When you are in a lecture, give it your full attention so that you don’t have to waste your time doing it again and again.
And when you are enjoying, no thoughts about work so that you maximize your fun and thoroughly entertain yourself. Compartmentalize your day so that one thing doesn’t mix with the other.
Use technology to your advantage
Everything about time management relies on you being organised. And that is the toughest of all tasks. There are a lot of tools and apps on your phone that can keep a track of your progress and keep you on the schedule.
For example, you can have alarms for every task you have. Then you can have a ‘to do’ list for one day. Make use of it. It is an easy way to keep yourself organized.
Time management is never easy. It takes a lot of practice. So, don’t be disheartened if, in the beginning, you have trouble reaching your goals.
Getting organized is going to be one of the toughest things you do. But don’t give up on it. Keep trying. The results are worth the wait and much more after that.
Also, it is a lifetime thing. It is like riding a bicycle. You can never forget how to do it once you master it.