Written by Jessica Ortaleza
After downloading a homework notification app onto my phone and showing it off to all of my friends, I had not realized how obsessed and adamant I got about time management and planning. The app (if anyone is interested, it’s called the HW App) allows you to create a personal timetable with all the subjects you’re taking. It organizes the tasks and assignments you have to complete according to due dates and priority, and notifies you when they are due if you wish to use that setting. Seriously, I am in love with it, next to my agenda/daily planner, and the best part about it is that you can colour code everything!
By the end of grade twelve, time management and balancing life were things I thought I was good at. I had two jobs, was on student clubs and sports teams, danced four days a week, and had a full course load. I wasn’t consistent with the agenda I was keeping, but I knew when things happened, where everything was, and what I had to do. Then I entered my first year of university, and that’s when I realized time management was something I was not good at. Part of this realization was because in high school I had been repeating the same routine every day for four years. I woke up, went to school, went to dance, then went home. My teachers constantly reminded us when assignments were due and my parents always had dinner on the table. I didn’t have bills to pay or errands to run. I guess you can say I wasn’t independent in high school as much as I thought I was, which was why my first semester of my first year at York was one of the most overwhelming life transitions I have ever faced.
Being in my third year now, I’m still developing the perfect time management system that corresponds with all I have to do. However, I’m at a better place now and here are some tips that have helped:
1. Make a to-do list for today.
This helps to visually see all you have to do and everything you’re involved in. Involve a reward as a way of motivating yourself!
2. Plan your life schedule.
Whether this is done in an agenda or a calendar on your phone, find an organization tool that works best for you and add your list of priorities. Plan your study days, assignment due dates, grocery shopping trips, etc., but be realistic and flexible.
3. Don’t be afraid to say no.
It’s okay to say no when your friend asks you to go for dinner and you have an assignment due the next day. There’s always another day or weekend that can be arranged for you to hang out!
4. Budget your time.
School, work, commitments – we’re all in the same boat. Prioritize your time and take on only as much as you think you can handle. Don’t forget to eat, too!
We may have a thousand things to accomplish, but a good night’s rest is important, too. Get your beauty sleep.
6. Do things for you.
Whether it’s watching TV, exercising, dancing, or hanging out with friends, take a breather from all the studying and assignments and dedicate some time for yourself. “Have a Kit Kat, you deserve a break.”
7. Procrastination station, don’t stop here!
Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, or the next day… Do it right now! Take advantage of the open time you have (ex. on the bus, going to school) and know yourself. Are you more productive during the day or at night?
With all that being said, you can do it! I currently go to school 5 days a week with a full course load, have two jobs, am a part of three dance teams and collectives, a part of student clubs at York, and am in the middle of producing a show. Many of my friends are in the same boat along with many other students, so keep in mind that you are not alone. With practice and the right organization system for yourself, you can do anything. “YU” got this!