Between college, internships, jobs, and self-care free time seems impossible. There are strategies, however, that allow you to fit free time into your schedule. Yes, scheduling in free-time is a thing.
This is only a wise idea if you can get both things done, well, at once.
I try and multi-task with one mindless action and another mindful one.
For example, I have to do A LOT of reading this semester. So, on my walks to class and while I get ready in the morning I listen to the audio versions of the text. This cuts my work time by more than half.
Try reciting flashcards while doing your laundry or walking on the treadmill. Anything to maximize your time!
Prioritize & Schedule
Scheduling isn’t the most exhilarating, but man is it worth it in the long haul. Figure out the things that have the closest deadlines and get those done first. Simple.
Long-term, create a list of assignments or goals each week and put them in order of urgency. Look at the list every day and cross off items as you go.
This creates an environment where nothing can spring up on you last minute when you’re trying to relax. You’ve got control over all of your obligations and deadlines and can allocate time accordingly.
Use Free Time Wisely
Once you’ve got the timeline of your assignments straightened out, start looking at your free time. How do you want to spend it?
It’s easy when procrastinating to blow all your free time watching Netflix or scrolling on your phone. This all has a time and place. But if you scheduled out your free time into windows, those 45 minute episodes or 10 minute Instagram sessions add up to hours you could use otherwise.
When you do have some time for yourself, spend it doing something actually fulfilling. Something that will re-charge and motivate you when you do have to get back to the grind.
Save Time On The Little Things
It’s easy for the little things to take up big amounts of time. Whether it comes to your daily meals or getting ready in the morning, create a process for yourself.
I am an avid meal-prepper. In just an hour or less you can have four-days worth of meals. This saves so much time (and money) when compared to eating out or scrambling to make something the day of.
Having a morning routine is another super simple, but super effective method of creating more free time. Try and get up at the same time each day regardless of obligations and get yourself together for the day. Whether that’s going for a jog, making a nice breakfast, doing your makeup alongside some music, or all of the above, figure out what works for you!
When You Work, Work
This is wildly important. Like mentioned before, the small bits of procrastination add up to become major blocks of wasted time. It’s wasted because you aren’t really working or relaxing. In the back of your mind as Netflix asks if you’re still watching, you are stressing about that impending assignment whether you want to acknowledge it or not.
Set mini goals for yourself. If you’re writing a paper do a few hundred words each day or give yourself a break every 30 minutes of studying. Working in spurts is extremely effective and allows us to avoid non-productivity.
Time management is a skill that looks different on everyone. Use these tips to guide you, but find your own unique rhythm and remember to re-charge and relax every once in a while!
Cover image via Pinterest
Also published on Medium.