Every college student and hard worker understands the value of time management, especially in today’s fast-paced world. Of course, while there are many ways to manage your time effectively, not everyone is organized enough to practice them. Ultimately, what helps one person manage their time may not work for another. Thus, it’s important to consider all the different time management options when seeking ways to be more productive. Here are a few less-common—yet highly effective—practices for better time management.
Apply the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 Rule is all about prioritizing. Also known as the Pareto Principle, this rule suggests that 20% of your effort will account for 80% of your results. For example, if you have a to-do list of ten items, two of those items should be worth the other eight combined.
Have you ever attempted to do too many things at once, and realized that some tasks are far easier than others? That’s the Pareto Principle at work. Most people tackle the easiest tasks first, but when it comes to time management, this is actually the worst thing you can do.
Everyone is guilty of procrastinating every now and then—especially students. However, by doing the easy tasks first and putting off larger assignments (term papers, for example), you’re actually putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. The most important things get pushed to the last minute, robbing them of the time needed to reach their full potential.
To apply the 80/20 Rule in your life, schedule the 20% of your work consisting of larger assignments and tasks first. This way, you can dedicate your best effort and ample time to the most important tasks. In doing so, you’ll accomplish 80% of output in less time you would spend if you had put the other 80% first.
View Time Management as Energy Management
Let’s say you have a big exam to study for, but you also have other tasks to complete, such as laundry or cleaning your Fanshawe off campus housing unit. You may feel like getting the small projects out of the way first. Yet, all of these tasks add up, using certain amount of energy and leaving you with less energy for the larger, more complicated tasks. This is called inefficient energy management.
Instead of focusing on the least demanding tasks first, always start with the hardest, most energy-consuming things first in the morning. That way, you’ll still have the energy to finish up the smaller tasks later. Ultimately, this will help you maximize your productivity and reduce stress levels at night.
Become More Proactive
Being proactive is the best way to manage your time. Just because you have a clearly outlined to-do list doesn’t mean that you’re properly managing your time. By being proactive and not pushing off important tasks like studying or writing essays, you’ll be more prepared for school assignments while still allowing for a full night’s rest.
By thinking about your future, you can easily organize your time and start acting earlier. For instance, if you know you have an exam or a paper due on Friday, start the initial phases of the task at the beginning of the week. Even doing a little work each day will help you take a proactive approach, thereby reducing the need to pull all-nighters.