How to Manage Your Time in a Remote World
By Wei Ni Zhang, Press & Written Media Staff
With school starting, the usual stress that comes will soon begin to take effect. You might already find yourself drowning in homework assignments or staying up past midnight to study for exams. Sometimes, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything we need to, let alone the things we want to do. Luckily, I have some tips to help you stay on top of your work and manage your time effectively!
1. Time blocking
It can be very easy to lose track of time when you have multiple assignments and lack a consistent work schedule. That’s where time blocking comes into play. Time blocking is when you divide your day into blocks of time, with each block dedicated to a specific task. For example, if you have an upcoming exam, instead of studying whenever you feel like it, you can allocate certain hours of your day, say from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., to review notes and do practice problems. You would follow this method for all the other tasks you have to complete for the day. Time blocking allows you to follow a concrete schedule, so you’re able to take control of your day-to-day activities without constantly getting sidetracked.
2. Plan your week in advance
If you don’t have a general idea of what your week will look like, you might find yourself overwhelmed and struggling to keep up. Planning in advance gives your brain more time to prepare and make smarter choices. You’re able to map out exactly what you need to get done for the week, helping you stay focused and more productive. Take some time on Sunday to create a plan that encompasses your goals for the week. When you wake up on Monday, you’ll be left with a clear outline of everything you have to do.
3. Use organization apps
The digital age equips us with so many amazing, free resources at our disposal. One particular application is Notion, which is great for keeping track of deadlines, organizing notes and files and managing tasks. Having a digital place to store everything will be extremely convenient and useful. Some other helpful tools include Google Calendar for scheduling and time blocking and Todoist for project and task management. The browser extension StayFocusd also enhances productivity by allowing users to restrict access to certain sites while working online.
4. Eliminate distractions
Distractions can be anything from your phone to a messy workspace; it’s important to keep yourself distraction-free when working. Leave your phone somewhere where it can’t easily be accessed or put it on airplane mode. Turn on your computer’s “do not disturb” and install a website blocker extension. Make sure you have a clean and quiet place to do your work. If it’s loud in your household, try wearing headphones to block out the noise.
5. Schedule breaks
It’s important to take breaks, no matter how much work you still need to get done. Our brains can only take on 90 minutes of work at a time before feeling fatigued, so you’re only hurting yourself by overworking. I recommend taking a mini 5 or 10-minute break every hour. You can either take a walk, nap or meditate during this time. This will prevent burnout and keep you more productive in the long run.
I hope these tips were helpful, and hopefully, you won’t be pulling all-nighters or stressing over assignments anymore! Overall, good time management is a key skill in life, so it’s better to invest in it now, rather than later.
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