School can leave us feeling completely overwhelmed, but why? We waste tons of time thinking about what we want to get done rather than doing them. Emails pile up, to-do lists spiral out of control, and assignments barrel into us. Getting started feels impossible and—to make matters worse—when you finally cross one thing off your to-do list, a million more tasks are added.
Additionally, we’re bad at estimating how long it takes to complete each task. Sometimes we think a project takes a half hour when it actually takes an hour. That can affect the number of tasks we can complete that day.
So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider improving your time management. This will allow you to get more done!
Make Tomorrow’s List, Today
This productive method gets your day started, immediately. If you plan tomorrow today, then you’re starting it on the right foot. Instead of tackling the biggest task first—because it’s intimidating—complete 5 quick and easy items that you can cross off right away. That way, you make a dent into your to-do list and can feel accomplished about it. Basically, how you end the day can impact how you start it—it’s just as important.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to review what needs to be done. Based on meal planning, extracurriculars, studying and assignments—you can determine how much time you’ll need to dedicate to each task. Especially since you will be taking into account the commitments you are unable to get out of (i.e. classes, meetings, and work).
In the morning, try embarking on a “power hour” where you focus on things that matter when you have the energy to complete them. This can lead to a massive difference in your performance without allowing menial tasks to intrude on your productive work. For example, if your inbox is growing out of control, don’t answer those emails right in the morning. Focus on the activities that require your utmost attention.
What don’t you need to do today? Basically, write a list of habits that you need to stop doing such as overusing social media, online shopping or procrastinating in any way. Figure out what’s stopping you from getting things done by analyzing what you do on a regular day.
That overwhelming feeling is a normal part of the student experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to let anxiety take over. Try some time management tips that will help you succeed and take down that to-do list.
Something to do with your newfound free time
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.