As a full-time employee and grad student with real-life goals and hobbies outside of those, it’s a MUST for me to make a daily schedule for myself to keep my world from spinning (more like to keep it from turning upside down, because it still spins lol).
Here’s a few time managment best practices that work for me:
1. Utilize a planner! Don’t just buy a cute one and let it collect dust all year – shop around and find one that truly works for you
I’ve used the Erin Condren planner for years but decided to switch it up and try the highly rated Happy Planner this year. Both are amazing and help make planning visually appealing, the Happy Planner is just more customizable which can be both a pro and con depending on your needs.
2. Before you start your day, write out your to-do list
It’s one thing to have a mental list, and it’s another to write it down. I promise this makes all the difference, because I guarantee you’ll miss something if you don’t jot it down. Oh, and I know I’m not the only one with an “achiever” mentality finding it super satisfying to physically mark off an action-item once it’s done!
3. Prioritize your top three to-do’s that you must get done
Everything on your to-do list is important but prioritizing the top three for the day makes it easier to hone in on what needs to get done first. Doing this helps with staying focused and prevents me from getting scatter brained while thinking of all the things I need to get done.
4. Write out your day by the hour – include all meetings, breaks, “you-time,” and make sure you fit in your top to-do’s
Doing this helps to visualize and create the day that you need to have. It’s important to allot time for each of your daily tasks so that you’re utilizing every hour of the day wisely.
5. Press repeat and commit to writing the schedule you want to have daily! Sometimes doing this the night before works better so you wake up ready to roll, but either way, creating the schedule you want to have and sticking to it is key.
Doing this at the top of my day and writing it all down helps keep me accountable and leaves no room for questioning how I’d like my daily schedule to be. Of course, some days are unpredictable, but going through this process definitely helps!
The planner I use has removable to-do lists and hourly day planning amongst other optional templates you can add to your planner – everything, including this comfy outfit is linked below.