You have an assignment on one hand, on the other, you have movie night with your friends. Which one will you pick, the long, boring assignment that, honestly, isn't even due for another week?
Don't worry, we've all been there. Procrastination is always waiting around the corner, and even worse, it is tempting. Be that as it may, this route only leads up to the night before your deadline, with you cramming in all you have to do under the pressure of time. Thankfully, we can avoid that in just a few basic steps of the all dreaded topic: time management. Trust me, it's simpler than it looks.
1. List Everything You Want To Do. All Of It
That's right; from each subject's homework and project to all the things you're doing for your own self fulfillment, like going out or writing poetry, get it all down on a piece of paper or on a notebook. The first thing is to see how much you really have to do, because sometimes, we think there is a lot to be done, but really there is barely anything.
Then, it is time to separate your list into two parts:
Things on assigned dates
Project deadline? A specific day to spend with your friends? Competitions, things to get done before a meeting? Put it all in this section, along with the dates each thing is going to take place on. From there, you mark each thing onto a digital or a physical calendar. Keep it somewhere you'll have to see it often, so that even when you are not actively doing the task, it is still on your mind, and you have to get back to it eventually,
Things with no dates
Maybe you really need to give your room a makeover, or it is about time that you learnt how to cook a particular recipe. Perhaps a plot idea is stuck in your head and you have to get it out, or you really need to get to registering for music classes. Things that do not have any particular end date go here, and then, they go on your wall--or wherever it is most accessible to you! Just like with your end date tasks, you will always have these on your mind, knowing you have you get to it sooner or later.
Where should you keep your to-do list?
2. Basic Math, And Yes, More Planning
At this point, it may seem redundant to do more planning and less action, but believe it from someone who has tried and tested many methods, planning gets you places. Once you are done knowing your tasks at hand, it is time to see when you can do it.
First, take 24 hours of any day.
And then, take out an hour more than the number of hours you normally sleep. Take out the hours you are at school and the time in which it takes you to get back and relax a little before doing anything else, necessary or not necessary. The hours you have remaining are the timings you can get your things DONE.
You can take out hours according to what you think is best for you--at the end of the day, it is something that you are designing for YOUR capability, and not anyone else's, so do what fits you best!
You have your time ready, your work ready, now all there is left to do is to put one thing into the other, and start scheduling. Get out a spare piece of paper, a planner (physical or digital), and start planning in everything you either have to or want to do. It's all up to you--how long do YOU think you will take on that assignment? How much longer till YOU need a break? When do YOU think you are the most productive? Ask yourself these questions as you fill in your time with your tasks, and over time it will become a system that you are more comfortable modifying and using!
You're all set! You have a plan in hand, and time handy! Now all that is left to do is to make sure you stick to these goals, and stick to the system that works best for you. For those of you just getting started, you should