This semester has been the hardest one yet. Each semester has its rewards and challenges, but entering into my upper-division courses, I rarely have any free time. During classes and student media Zoom meetings, many students have recently asked how other students, their peers, manage their time and are able to finish everything on their to-do list. These conversations have been on my mind, so I put together a list of ways that help me with time-management.
1. Use a calendar.
I have a lot of scheduled meetings this semester. I interview sources multiple times a week, schedule photoshoots for my stories, attend administration meetings for my beat and turn in my stories by the deadline.
I went to Target at the beginning of the semester to buy a calendar large enough to squeeze a few appointments on each day. The calendar hangs on the wall behind my computer where I sit every day to attend online classes and work on homework. This visual helps me keep track of my week and it helps break down the week of scheduled appointments.
2. Make a list.
Use a notebook or planner to make a list of everything you have to do for the week.
I make three or four lists each week. I start out by making a list on Sunday for the week coming up. Then as assignments get added, I make a new list after my first day of classes for the week. I make a third list the evening after classes end for the week — this way I know everything I need to get done over the weekend.
How to make the list:
I begin by listing each class.
Under each class, I list all assignments.
Next to the assignments, I list when they are due.
I then write the day of the week that I’ll be working on or completing the assignment. Finally, I highlight what needs to be done first.
It’s that simple.
When I breakdown the week that way, I am less overwhelmed and can finish my tasks efficiently and on-time.
3. Cross items off on your list.
This is the most satisfying part of breaking down my week. I cross items off as they are finished. I then move onto the next item.
4. Start your second list midweek.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 from this how-to explanation.
5. Start a new list at the end of the week.
Again, repeat steps 2 and 3 from this how-to explanation.
6. Work through all remaining assignments over the weekend.
7. You are now set up for success.
Maintaining a calendar and writing out a list a few times a week has helped me prioritize what to do next. When there are 10 items on the list, I get overwhelmed. But if I highlight the most pressing three items on the list, I begin there. Once those items are complete, I start working on the next item on the list that has the closest deadline.
Kelly Krabill is an opinion writer. Contact her at email@example.com.