Time Management and Organization

As graduate students and individuals in the workforce, you may all have large amounts of responsibilities and tasks to complete! This doesn’t take into account your personal responsibilities, like families, outside meetings, and hobbies. Today, we are talking about time management and organization! How do we stay organized? How do we show up on time? How do we prevent double-booking ourselves? How do we make sure we allocate enough time to the things that matter most to us? This blog post can be useful for students in any graduate level. Here are 7 tips that may help you manage your time and stay organized.

  • Use a planner.
    • Planners are especially helpful when trying to manage time and remain organized. Find a planner that gives you enough space to write all your responsibilities and tasks for each day, respectively. There are planners that are designed by time (I.e. 7am to 9pm). If you’re a visual learner, this planner might be most helpful to you, because you can see where you need to be at every single hour of the day. If you are someone that doesn’t need as much structure, general day planners might be most helpful to you. Find a planner you wouldn’t mind carrying all day!
  • Color code.
    • Color coding may remind you of when you were a child, but it’s a very effective method for managing your time. Color coding can be useful when classifying responsibilities as work, school, or family/ personal related. Grab yourself some colorful pens and/or highlighters and start color coding! *One helpful tip: red can be used as a general color for deadlines!
  • Use post-it notes.
    • Post-it notes can serve as tabs. Whether you’re using them in your planner, dissertation research, and/or work files, post-it tabs can help you save time! Place a post-it note on an important page and write a brief note of what is on that specific page, so you’ll know exactly what page would be most helpful to you depending on what you’re looking for.
  • Create checklists.
    • Create checklists for yourself! Do you have nearly a million things to do in one day? Write them down with a little box in front of each task and when you complete the task, check the box. Do you have to buy a week’s worth of groceries in 30 minutes? Create a grocery list that will help you grab all your groceries within your allocated time frame without forgetting any of your items. Do you have to submit a handful of documents or assignments at work this week? Create a checklist to make sure you are meeting the deadlines and expectations of your employer without creating too much stress for yourself.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
    • Let someone know you are trying to be more organized and manage your time well. In the case that you aren’t staying organized or showing up on time, someone can hold you accountable. Being held accountable is an important aspect of this process, because you’re able to identify what steps are working for you and what steps are not serving you in the process of managing your time and staying organized.
  • Always plan to be there 10 minutes early.
    • Whether you have a meeting, work, class, or family dinner, it is important to arrive on time. Always plan to arrive 10 minutes earlier than the designated time. This way, if you’re running a couple minutes late, you’ll still arrive on time.
  • Plan your outfits the night before.
    • As graduate students and professional employees, business and professional clothing is almost always required. Planning your outfit the night before can help save you some time in the morning.

These are just some of the many tips that you can apply to your daily life in order to best manage your time and stay organized. Please share with us below if you practice any other ways of staying organized that may help the rest of your colleagues!

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