It was 11:00pm at my apartment, with me sitting in front of the computer, watching my poor little PC went through the “defragmentation” process. Staring at the screen, while the screen probably was also staring at me, its tired owner, I suddenly wish “I were a computer”. Oh wait, I was too tired, what I actually meant was, I came up with a very bright idea—I should defragment my time!
A little more than two weeks after the first classes, my schedule already looks messy. A pretty lay-back first week brought me a horrible feeling, in return, when I looked at the “due items” on my second week timetable. Three group projects are due and one quiz is coming up, therefore all my off days were filled with group meetings. With lots of readings and other assignments, plus housekeeping stuff like opening accounts, paying bills, doing grocery shopping, and housework, I was really overwhelmed. The biggest problem is, where had my time gone?!
I did the math a little in my head and figured a large portion of my time was actually wasted on traveling back and forth among different places and being inefficient. Now the problem is resolved, or at least the situation is improved, with my defragmentation idea. So please allow me to proudly announce some tips for you:
1.Make or get a calendar planner. It has to show at least one current month and better if shows the days of the whole quarter so that you can see the big picture and do your game plan. It also has to be differentiated into hours every day so you can schedule in details.
2. Mark down all the “fixed items” in your planner such as classes, events that you must attend. Most importantly, highlight all the due days and exam days!
Now you are ready for the game. Every night before going to bed, list all the things you need to do. Fit the flexible items in time slots according to locations, estimated length of time, and priority. For instance, if you have a class on a certain day, you also need to deposit a check, drop by the grocery store, cook, do laundry, and read an 11-page article. You will first go to class, as that’s a “fixed item”. Then you will deposit the check since the bank is close to school. Get on a bus back home and start reading the article. If the grocery store and laundry place happen to near your house, then drop down the laundry after you get home, grocery shopping will follow. Done shopping, put clothes into dryer, then cook. Enjoy your dinner, do a little work-out pulling your laundry back afterward. Continue reading the article. When you get a little tired or bored, go fold your clothes or organize your wardrobe until you feel refreshed. Finish your reading.
Sounds good? I hope the idea helps! Be a good time manager!