10 Tips for Students to Better Manage School and Life

10 Tips for Students to Better Manage School and Life

Finding a balance between school, work, and your social life can seem like an tough task but you can come out a big winner, as I’m about to show you. I was serving full time in the U.S. Navy and found myself in a super highly stressful position as a Naval Aircrewman, while at the same time taking two classes, and even working a part time job at a local restaurant.

Using this system I’m about to outline helped me get through this massive amount of stress and dedicate myself to achieving all of my goals. I was even managing a relationship with a young lady I had met at the University where I was taking classes.

There never seems to be enough time in the day to do it all, and the idea of tackling everything on your list can be tough sometimes. The key to managing your priorities can be found by taking just a few steps to organize your responsibilities and simplify your life.

Following these 10 tips can help you better manage your priorities, create systems, and transform your daily workload!

  1. Keep the big picture in mind

Taking the time to map out your next few weeks or project can be the first step in deciding what you need to prioritize. Keeping the big picture in mind will make it easier to conceptualize your to-do list and create a system, and keep a clear image of what it will take to achieve your goals.

  1. Create a master list of your responsibilities

In order to make forward progress, you have to understand how to convert your overarching goals into lists of smaller “action items”. Listing out what it will take to successfully complete each project on your plate is what I call building a mini system. By doing this you will also be considering your daily responsibilities and creating visibility. Making each task in your mini system a physical obstacle that you can cross off once done creates a sense of satisfaction that ultimately increases your motivation. You now have visual stopping and starting points if you get interrupted. I’ve found that goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress.

  1. Use deadlines to your advantage

In the world of negotiation deadlines are the biggest driver. While seemingly obvious, we often try to tackle the easiest task on our list instead of the more complex jobs without considering deadlines. Although the simpler task may give a sense of satisfaction in the short term, you will be much more grateful that you didn’t wait until the last minute to take on your most difficult responsibility.

  1. Break down large tasks and create a mini system

Identifying specific steps for each stage of a more complex goal allows you take on projects that require more steps with a much more organized approach. Breaking your toughest responsibilities down to create a mini system of achievable tasks makes any larger task and goal achievable.

  1. Outline each day

Your schedule is your biggest asset when it comes to tackling your to-do list and completing your mini system. Finding openings in your day and using this precious tome to work on accomplishing your mini system will allow you to take control of your day and use time to your advantage.

  1. Plan for the interruptions

Although your schedule will help you tremendously, you should never attempt to run your day without it. Always give yourself extra time when thinking about your deadlines, so you will be prepared when the unexpected happens.

  1. Reward yourself at the right time

Take the time out to reward your achievements. By doing this you have something to look forward to after completing a system, along with positive reinforcement that encourages healthy behaviors for the future. Whether you make it a milkshake or even a 15 minute break to relax and disconnect before starting your next project, taking this time to reward yourself will make a huge difference.

  1. Cut out distractions using your planning

Everyone is prone to distraction and these days we all know there are more people reaching out for our attention more than ever. By taking the time to remove yourself from the things that distract you from the task at hand is worth the effort. We all know social media is probably the biggest. Taking the initiative to place your phone into do not disturb mode or even find a more quieter place to work can be hard at first, but will allow you to be more efficient.

  1. Use tools

Tools and Apps make your life easier by helping with everything from visibility to priority management. They help you conquer your most important day-to-day commitments, while also keeping your high-level goals and systems in mind. This visibility helps you keep track of what you’ve done to utilize these tips and strategies in every project you take on.

  1. Establish a weekly routine

Your daily systems make up the weekly routine. By having an overhead view of your week can help you establish a routine in your mind. This will help you increase your productivity make any project or task easily achievable. Integrating a weekly routine is a system that will create healthy habits and make managing your priorities a second nature habit quickly!

One last tip! You should consider learning to read faster. Imaging being able to read 3x faster while comprehending better. I wrote a post to help you do this entitled How to Absorb Books 3x Faster Using Actual Science. All the best!

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Created by Martin Hamilton