Time Management in the New Year

First, a quick introduction! I’m Sarah, a new writer around here at The Student Help Forum. I’m a full-time post baccalaureate student in public health education. I work over 30 hours a week, write for four blogs and try to have a social life on top of everything. I hope my words of advice within The Student Help Forum strike a chord with you and enhance your student life! I’m always open to writing suggestions and you should feel free to send me some mail if you ever have something you’d like to see me address!

Second, let’s get down to business!

If you’re anything like me, once finals week is over, your brain shuts down until about a week into the next term’s classes. However, over this winter break, I’d like to challenge you to keep thinking; start thinking about next term, and how you’re going to push yourself to do even better in it.

My first suggestion on how to improve yourself in the new year & the new term is:

USE A CALENDAR

Use a Calendar!Whether you choose to use a paper calendar, or Google’s wonderful calendar application, write things down, keep track of where you’re supposed to be and when you’re supposed to be there, and then celebrate as you cross things off your list!

I use my calendar to plan telephone calls, to make doctor’s appointments, to keep track of my work schedule, to remind myself I have a blog entry due (or blog inspirations), to write down lunch dates with friends, and even to write myself notes about how my day went.

When you have big events that you need preparation, pre-reminded yourself! I write down my finals during the first week of classes, and then one week before the final, I write “PHE 355 Final – 1 week!” and high-light it to remind myself that it’s coming up.

If it’s your thing, I’ve found that color coding my calendar is incredibly helpful. I have a colors for school, for work, for blogs, for WEGOHealth (where I am a community leader), for photography, for exercise and for personal stuff. It’s a bright looking calendar and even when there’s a lot of stuff going on, at least it’s shown in fun colors!

On paper calendars, sometimes it’s hard to write about your “to-do’s” in detail, but I recommend you write down all the details (address, contact name & information, things you may need to bring, etc) when you’re writing on your calendar. I often keep paperclips in my day planner so I can attach things to the days that they belong with as well.

Another tip that I have, which comes in handy for students is to write down all the family birthdays or anniversaries you need to remember when you first get a blank calendar. Most of us get calendars when we’re home for the holidays and since your mom is most likely to be right there, have her help you out. This will help you remember to send Grams a birthday card and remind her how great she is!

While it may seem daunting to use a daily calendar to keep track of your life, I promise you that in the long run, it will pay off and you will be incredibly pleased (not to mention organized) with the results!

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