As a master’s student, my life often gets very busy with classes, essay deadlines, dissertation work, writing for the blog and management of the LSE South Asia Centre. Many times I get easily overwhelmed with never-ending tasks. Very often, I wish for more hours in a day so as to fit in work and live a balanced lifestyle without giving up on my sanity. While it is impossible to add more hours, it is possible to manage time better using a few strategies:
Prepare the night before
This habit can take some time to develop, but it also can prove to be a game-changer. Before starting a hectic weekday, prepare for it a night before. This will give you a set plan for the day. Write down the tasks, separating the most important ones that you should aim at completing in the morning. Also, mention the time you will be performing these tasks, so as to limit time wastage and give a direction to your day. Moreover, if you are anticipating a chaotic day, then plan your outfit/ clean dishes/ prepare meals in advance.
We all are guilty of checking our phone every five minutes while studying or going on a Netflix binge-watch right before an important submission. However, these habits take up a lot of time, sometimes unknowingly. Keep the phone away or use apps such as Self-Control or ClearLock (they block websites for a while). Try to make the process of studying fun by selecting a place that is quiet and comfortable.
Prioritize, avoid tasks that add little value to your life
Many times, we mix up important tasks with non-important ones, which do not add value to our life or long-term goals. For example, I would often mix up menial tasks like getting groceries, deep cleaning and laundry with dissertation work.
Such tasks take up precious energy and time. Seeing them on your to-do list with other stuff makes it even more overwhelming. My suggestion would be to set a day and time for doing such tasks. For example, my weekly routine includes dedicated days like: ‘Grocery day’ or ‘Laundry day.’