1) To-do lists don’t work on their own
To-do lists on their own are useless, until you assign time it is just a list of wishful thinking. Putting a time to something allows you to realise how long things take, so even if you allocate an hour to do a particular job. If it goes over time, you can make sure that you do it complete the task at another time. If you do it under the time allocated it means you can move onto the next thing.
Students in particular are notoriously bad at assigning their time, often leaving things until too late and rushing to get them completed.
It is also best to schedule in your down time if you’re hopeless at keeping to schedules. Making sure you have fun is part of student life but you need to get the balance just right.
2) Make 3 time lines
Have a diary that shows you what you’re doing that day, but also that week and even that month. This way you can keep track of time allocated to each task. Start as a student to get a feel for long term planning, you’ll be able to make regular over views that allow you to make adjustments before gapping holes appear in the process. Give yourself false deadlines if you must. Research shows you spend your time more wisely, and less likely to check your FaceBook, Twitter and email accounts so much.
Also, writing things down instead of memorising means you’re more likely to follow up on them. Richard Branson is well known for his books, writing down notes and dating each note book for reference.
Get rid of some of the tasks if you can. Either spend a day focusing on the smaller stuff that can be done and dusted in a short space, that will reduce your list, OR choose a few things that can wait until you’ve finished the most important tasks and then do them. If you can’t decide, then focus on what you do best. If you end up to agreeing because you don’t want to let people down, it does you no favours in the end. If you don’t know in what order to prioritise then try using mind maps to group together certain activities, to understand the order in which to do them. If you want to make a cup of tea, you need to fill the kettle before turning it on.
4) Plan your time back from the deadlines.
As a student, you can often get away with handing essays in late, but in the real world, such as Newspapers, deadlines are there because the newspaper hits the streets. There is nothing more motivating than a looming deadline, but the key is to work backwards from the deadline. When you feel in control of your schedule you’re less likely to feel burnt out, less likely to get over stressed and more likely to sleep better.
5) Allocate time slots
If you are forever checking your email and social media accounts, you’re not focused on the work, turn off any distractions. On your email put in an automatic reply saying what you’re working on and you’ll be available between certain times.
Evidence shows that shallow work like answering emails stops you from getting fired in a job, but it’s the concentrated work that gets promotions, and for students higher grades, and grades employers are looking for. Employers are looking for people who can manage themselves adequately.
If you’re having problems with procrastination call or text “time” to 07508 658934 or contact me.