5 Easy, Immediate Time Management Tips for Adult Students
Adult students are busy people. When you are working full time, raising a family, volunteering in your community, going to school, and probably pursuing a hobby or exercise program, 15 minutes here and there can make a huge difference in your life. The following five-time management tips are easy things you can do that will result immediately in additional minutes in your day.
1. Silence Your Devices
Technology is truly wonderful. For most of us regular human beings, it's rather miraculous. Short, tiny sounds and vibrations alert us to new texts, emails, calls, and other messages. We are becoming slaves to our devices, however, responding to them every hour of the day.
Silence your phone and other devices during the time you have set aside to study, and focus on your education without these constant disruptions. This one instant technique can make a tremendous difference in the time you have available for studying.
2. Review Your Day First Thing in the Morning
Start your day off by reviewing your schedule so you know exactly how your time will be divided up and where you might have 15 minutes to read an assignment or do a little research. You also have to think about eating planning. Planning meals can help you save time and have favorite foods in your food list. When you plan your time, you get more done because you're not wasting it, caught without a textbook or notebook.
How many times have you forgotten an appointment or failed to put the recycling on the curb because you didn't check your calendar that morning? It happens to everyone. Whether you use a date book or your smartphone, it takes less than a minute to look over your calendar first thing in the morning. It also helps you know how to dress.
3. Schedule Time for Visiting, Worrying, and Other Distractions
When you have such a full schedule, it's easy to worry about whether or not something will get done, what you have forgotten, or who needs you. Maybe you had a family fight before leaving home. One way to deal with this is to discipline yourself to worry about it during a specific time of day. That sounds a little extreme, I know, but it really will help you find more minutes in the day, immediately.
When you start to worry while studying, give yourself permission to put it on hold until lunchtime. When someone interrupts you to visit, say something like, "I would love to visit with you about that. Can we do it at 2? I've got a deadline."
4. Handle Emails and Paper Once
Take care of emails and paperwork that demand some action on your part the first time you encounter them. Shuffling them from one folder or pile to another simply wastes time. Take care of business immediately, and with as little extra work as possible, and you'll have more time. You'll also likely have a cleaner desk and inbox, which will help you be more organized.
5. Start and Stop Meetings on Time
When you are a punctual person, there are few things more aggravating than meetings that start late and go long. If you're in charge, set the expectation that your meeting will begin promptly, stay focused on the agenda (which, of course, you will have!), and end at the agreed upon time (hopefully just one hour). Meetings are notorious time wasters, especially when participants are allowed to chat about personal things or gossip. Don't let people hijack your meetings.
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