Maggie Morrissey is a full-time Career Advisor for Experiential Education and Learning and works with freshmen students. Maggie is also completing her master’s degree in college student affairs at NSU.
We all want to get better at time management. Whether you’re a freshman trying to find a part-time job, a junior busy with on-campus involvement, a freshman taking college courses for the first time or a career-changer juggling a family, chances are you’ll often feel like you need more time to accomplish everything. So, before that mid-term panic sets in, use these tips for success to manage your busy schedule.
Find a planning system that works with your style and schedule. Some students use a traditional planner, while others use their Outlook calendar to manage commitments. Try downloading an app with an electronic to-do list to stay on top of your deadlines. Some students use Wanderlust or Trello. If your current planning system, or lack thereof, needs revamping, make sure to change it up until you find your favorite way to manage your tasks and goals.
Plan in advance with your academic and career advisors if you are looking for more learning experiences. Don’t wait until your most challenging academic semester to pursue an internship or research opportunity. Your advisors can help you to plan a manageable schedule so you don’t stretch yourself too thin. Remember, not all career-related experiences have to be in a formal office.
Learn when to say “no”
Saying “no” can be difficult. When your schedule is packed, declining offers to avoid overextending yourself is an important skill. Saying no to a family member, friend or organization can be uncomfortable at first, but it may be necessary. Instead, you should emphasize that you want to be fully committed to the person or organization and that this simply isn’t the right time for you. Additionally, you should let them know that you appreciate the offer. If you need help deciding if you should add another item to your schedule, consider asking an advisor or mentor for advice to help you weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes talking it through will help you decide if it’s the right time to commit. Ultimately, you’ll have to do what’s best for you, and people should respect your decisions.
Schedule “you” time
Make sure to make time for yourself. Being overworked and overstressed leads to burnouts and can even take a toll on your immune system and physical health. Make time to relax, recharge and restore so you can be more productive when it’s time to re-focus. Need ways to find balance and unwind? Meditate, try a new workout class at RecPlex or set aside a few minutes each day to journal and reflect.