3 Jobs Next to University? - Managing your time as a pro
When I tell people that I have 3 jobs, a design team, org presidency, mentoring, several clubs next to classes, I would receive an abundance of questioning looks. (Mostly questioning my sanity.)
However, the other question popping into heads, is how I manage all of this? The answer, mainly being: Time management. I have mastered the art of managing my days as an absolute pro. Therefore, enclosed in this post, will be a list of ideas, practices that have changed my life (for the better)!
Before, we begin, I must also mention that while these ideas have worked for me, a lot of the mainstream ideas didn't. I believe time management is anything but one size fits all. Sure, it's easy to talk about some general ideas. However, at the end of the day, it takes time to find the ways you can maximize your time!
THE PLANNERS, CALENDARS
I know, I know. That meeting, assignment, or whatever, is 3 months from now. Why would I take note? Because you will forget it, and I mean it. Not maybe in the sense that you forget about it, but you forget to plan around it. The same goes for having to do something tomorrow. There is no way you will forget, which is sure quite likely to be true. However, it will hard to give that task a priority level. How can you compare things that only exist in your head?
When I say you need to plan your days, I truly mean it. If you want to manage your time well, you need a plan A of what you will do with it. This also means allotting times for meals, and some breaks, and potential things that could come up.
Being prepared is the only way time management truly works. So grab that planner. that google calendar, that whatever it might be, and keep track.
HANDWRITTEN IS THE ONLY WAY IT'S WRITTEN
Sure, events and meetings are the best to keep track of online. Clicking that Zoom link from your laptop and not having to sweep through dozens of emails to find it, is amazing.
Still, when it comes to tasks, grab that pen and write it out. You need a visual, and this visual can help a lot too. When you add tasks to calendars online they will only show up as 5 or 6 or X things to do.
Yet when you write it down, you can visually keep an order, write it out as a list. A list that has more meaning than just task 1 or 2. You can give importance, an order, use different highlighters to mark the different types of tasks. Keep lists for work, for chores, for you, for whatever it might be. Trust me when I say, you should write it.
PRIORITIZING AND HOW I MEAN IT
When it comes to the world of time management, the first thing you will find all over the internet is to prioritize. And sure, you can read hundreds and hundreds of mentions of this word, yet what does it even mean?
When I first began trying to manage my work and time, I often tried this and just stared blankly at tasks, thinking to myself: How do I even know what is more important? My answer is: You often won't. But, there is a way to let the task tell you. Here is what you can look for:
Is there a deadline? The most obvious, yet easy way to begin.
How fast can I do it? Got a task that will take 5 minutes? Might just be an amazing follow-up for a long task.
How much do I want to do it? Know that task, that you really don't want to do? DO IT FIRST!
MENTALLY, I'M HERE & THERE
We are back to this. I know, these blog posts pretty much can not go without a mention of just how important mental health and wellbeing are. But they truly are something, that needs to be mentioned as often as possible. As they are overlooked as often as possible.
When I say you need to be there and here mentally, I mean it in the way that you need to think about how managing a certain task will affect you mentally. Will you feel drained, happy, excited, sad, etc.? How will a certain task or event make you feel? By thinking about this, you are allowing yourself to feel your time out too. Will you be overly joyed and excited? Great! That means you will probably be very motivated to get a certain task done!
Will you feel drained, tired, or even sad? Give yourself time after that task to recover from those feelings, and also to truly feel them. By doing this you are learning to account for what might seem like a surprise.
IF YOU ARE NEW: POST-ITS
If you ever knew me in my first year of college, you will know this: my desk equaled a sea of post-its. And when I say a sea, I mean an entire sea. My entire desk from top to bottom was covered in lists of tasks, events, assignments, classes, and EVERYTHING.
While to many that overwhelming amount of neon colors seemed like I have gone insane, that was the best way for me to adjust to managing my time in a new way. These little notes allowed me to clearly identify everything that needed to be done. To begin prioritizing, and early ways of thinking about mental effects of certain tasks. In a way, it gave me a way to truly explore and learn the aforementioned tips and tricks. It was how I found these in the first place.
Surely, I don't do this anymore. because I have now learned better ways to manage these crazy amounts of things going on, but they brought me where I am today. Giving YOU tips on how to manage your time!
See you next week!