Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Hand Father Time His First “L”

Time management is important no matter who you are or what you do. For students, it can be the difference between a 3.8 and a 3.0. For business people, it often is the difference between a closed deal and a frustrating failure. As such a skill is so important, it is shocking to see the amount of people who do not seem to have some basic grasp on key ways to better structure their day. I am still working on perfecting my time management abilities, but I have gotten better through the years. I would like to share some helpful things that I do in order to get my (spoiler alert) to – do list done.

  1. Create not only a to – do list, but assign each task on the list a time value. Whether that’s 2 hours to study for accounting and 1 hour to gym, make sure you have a rough estimate of how long each item on the list will take. Then, make a schedule of that list with the times. Something just like this:
    1. Gym: 3:00-4:00
    2. Study accounting: 4:00-6:00
    3. Dinner 6:00-7:00
    4. Meeting: 7:00-8:30

You get the point. This will help you stay on track, finish up all the things you put on your to do list, and help you feel more productive.

  1. Before doing something, I like to mentally map out the steps needed for the upcoming task to be completed in the most time efficient, yet effective way possible. Even something as simple as cooking dinner – I like to think ahead, map out what goes in the pan first, what multitasking needs to occur, what are the supplies I would need, and where all the tools are. This helps me have an idea of what I am doing before I do it, so there is no need for me to sit around thinking if I have gotten all my supplies or what the next step is. It’s all mapped out in my head and ready to go.
  2. Get someone to hold you accountable and vice versa. A buddy can turn laziness into productivity, as long as you find the right person for you.
  3. Lastly, I try to combine work with relaxation. For example, after working for an hour, I like to go outside, take a walk, eat a snack, watch a YouTube video, or do something to clear my head. It helps with the constant flow of information that comes in and out of our brains every day. The break helps to make my work more efficient, even if it takes a couple of minutes.

These are some of the strategies that I use to stay focused and be efficient and effective throughout my day. If you have suggestions for me or would like to share your thoughts, my email is twang5@babson.edu. I look forward to hearing from you!