No matter how talented a person is, he only has twenty-four hours in a day just like everyone else. The most productive people are those that understand just how precious these hours are. In college, the principles of effective time management apply. There are so many distractions that could keep you off track. There are also some necessary activities that you need to stay happy and motivated.
Here are some tips to being productive while still enjoying your time in college.
Cover the Basics of Good Health
Being productive means doing all you need to do today, and doing it again the next day. While it’s pretty certain that you have enough energy to get things done in the present, the real challenge is how to sustain the energy for the long term, meaning the next week or the next month. Mental productivity will always be the product of physical endurance, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re limited not only by time but also by the things your body can do.
Sleep well, have power naps and always be in the dining room when it’s time to eat. Choose the best foods that will give you the energy to go through your routine every single day. Some people keep it simple. A big bowl of cereal in the morning. A jog in the afternoon. Proteins during lunch. Vegetables at night.
Others are more creative when it comes to the basics of good health. They do their exercising by doing sports, and they bring canteens of nourishing soup for when they can’t get to the lunch room because they have study sessions. They sleep as soon as they get to the dorm, and do their studying when they wake up in the early morning.
Make a To-Do List
A list of everything that needs to be done during the day can be a time-saver. If you have a mini-guide to remind you what you need to cover during the day, you won’t have to spend time wandering around or being pulled into this or that activity by a classmate. Your list will also allow you to plan ahead and free up some time for leisure activities.
At a glance, you’ll know when things are hectic and when to take it easy. Making a list of things to do will also help you balance your time for play and time for work. You can kick back and watch television every once in a while because you’re done with the things you need to do for the day. The more time you free up, the more you can lighten your load and do some relaxing. You don’t need to feel guilty about attending a party or two because you know you’ve covered all your obligations for the week.
The key to making a to-do list is to prioritize the things that you can’t put off until the next day. Do these first. But you also need to list the things that can be done to free up your schedule for the rest of the week.
What about burnout? If you’re too exhausted to eat, exercise, study or make a to-do list, don’t push it. Being too productive doesn’t have to mean burning out on your first three months in college. Make sure you don’t overwork yourself that your brain is fried by the end of the week. Take care of yourself and stay optimistic. Be realistic about the things you can and can’t do.