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Lifestyle
01/18/13

3 Time Management Methods to Manage the Madness

Women may face plenty of problems, but between work, school, family, and a social life, boredom isn’t one of them. Instead, finding even a moment of calm can feel like a victory; is a truly balanced life possible?

With a bit strategy and diligence, it most certainly is. Take me, for instance: I’m a full-time student with a part-time job. Yet I’m able to make good grades, spend time with friends, and read a novel a week. I’ve made it through without a single all-nighter; in fact, I’m often in bed by 10 while some of my roommates study until 2 in the morning.

“I wish I had time to read for fun.” ”How do you get to bed so early? You must not have that much homework.”

Newsflash: I’ve got the same 24 hours a day as you do! What I do differently is rely on these 3 time-managing methods every day. Give them a chance and spend less of your already-precious time scrambling and more doing what brings you joy!

1. Use the Pomodoro TechniqueWe all know what it’s like to put off a seemingly insurmountable task day after day. Use this tried-and-true technique: 25 minutes of work, followed by a 3-5 minute break. If you spend 25 minutes giving 100%, without updating your Facebook page or perusing the fridge, that 12-page report will take half the time you think. Spend the 3-5 minute break doing something relaxing, like surfing the web or flipping through a magazine, to reboot your brain.

2. Treat your planner like your personal assistant. Unexpected bumps in the road can be major time sinks, so keeping a detailed schedule (I love Lilly Pulitzer‘s colorful pocket agenda) can be a lifesaver. On Sundays, go through your to-do list and block out times for homework or other responsibilities throughout the week, adding in extra time for commuting or getting ready for the day. From grocery lists to birthdays and appointments, write a manageable “top 10″ list every morning so you know what tasks–big and small–need to get done.

3. Actually get your beauty rest. Aim for at least 6-7 hours a night of actual sleep. In this study, researchers wrote “Our findings show that sleep-deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive, and more tired compared with when they are well rested.” Calculate what time you want to get up in the morning, count backwards by 7 hours, and throw on 1 extra hour for getting ready for bed and Netflix. So if you want to get up at 6 to go for a run, you want to be asleep by 11, meaning you should be brushing your teeth by 10.

You only have 24 hours in a day. But that’s the same amount of time as Jane Austen, Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Adele. Make the most of it!

Photo via flickr user Marcin Ejsmont

Claire Courchane
Claire studies journalism, public relations, and politics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her goals in life include baking the perfect cupcake and helping women achieve their full potential in their daily lives. You can follow her on twitter @clairecourchane.