Productivity 101: Time management

Full disclosure: even though this post is on time management, it has been in my list of drafts for a long time. Nevertheless, I get to it now!

If you’re new (or even old) to tackling multiple competing priorities at the same time you have at some point struggled with time. Just feeling like there’s not enough hours in the day or having things to do despite being consumed for most part of the day.

I’m here with a lowdown on how I have been managing 2 jobs, university classes, socializing and hobbies for the past few years. While this is in no way a guide or how-to, because I haven’t gotten on top of it also, it just gives a glimpse into what managing priorities looks like and what can one do to alleviate few pain points.

There are basically two steps that entail my system of time management, as I have been using so far:

Know what’s on your plate

When I started university and then working, I would remember the major commitments like classes, my shifts and such. However, my day would entail a lot in between as well that took time. Simple things like grabbing food, cleaning your room or meeting a friend take time and not being organized can take a toll on your time management.

Write it down

Its all nice and good to say know what’s on your plate. But how does one get to doing that? I am a strong supporter of taking note of every date and small thing to be done in one place. The human brain is a wonder but not everyone has photographic memory.

Some tools I have utilized so far in keeping track of commitments are: planner, journal, Google calendar and Outlook calendar.

I use a combination of these as I have alluded to in my academic planning and journal posts. My planner allows me to take note of important dates across months and then break down plans into smaller tasks in the daily spread. I use it to glance over my week while giving others dates and commitments.

Meanwhile, I used my Outlook calendar extensively at work and somewhat now in school to block out routine chunks of time for bigger tasks: project meetings, class time, work shifts, and such.

On the other hand, my free-flowing journal allows me to process being busy and note the in-between tasks the night before. Sometimes you just dont know where to even start or what even needs to be done unless you’re asked to. But part of adulting is coming up with things to do so you can have a functional life so my journal often acts as the catalyst of things that go in my planner. Hint: its time you become regular about exercise, Maham!

At the end of the day….

To be honest, there’s still gonna be times when you won’t have it together – and that’s fine. Planning, organization, all of adulting I believe is more about the process. So sometimes just cut yourself some slack and live to meet your goals because no planning Instagram accounts or advice blog posts will come to give you extra strength to get on with a bad day. What matters most is you work out a system of life that works for YOU – and only you!