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Stressed? Manage Your Time!

By Will from Holland

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Whether you're in school studying or already working a job, you need to get things done, right? And there's always too little time...

Do you know the feeling of stress? Do you ever realize you're running out of time to study for that test! Do you worry how you will get all these things on your "to do" list done? Do you have deadlines?

Managing your time is important, no matter how boring it sounds. But the good thing about properly managing your time is that you'll have more time to focus on the fun things in life!

So where do you start?

Follow these time management tips. Some of these I've learned through my job at FoolProof. Others, I still have to learn and know would be good for me to practice. (Hey, you're never too old to learn! )

  1. Jot down everything you need to get done today, tomorrow and the rest of the week or month.
    Write them down on paper or use an app on your smart phone. I use an app that synchronizes on my phone and tablet, as well as my computer. I always have an updated list handy!
  2. Prioritize your tasks.
    What do you need to get done first and when? On your list, digital or otherwise, write tasks down chronologically (in order of when they need to be completed). This is one of those tasks I still need to learn. I always do the fun tasks first and then find myself rushing to get some of the other "not so fun" ones done at the last minute.
  3. Plan smart and strategic.
    Be sure to work on tough, complicated or even boring tasks when you have the most energy. This will make them easier to complete. I can focus the best in the mornings. I always work through my ton of emails first to get them out of the way.
  4. Set a time limit on your tasks.
    Only work on a specific task for a certain amount of time. And if the task is too big to complete in one period, spread them out over a few days. FoolProof's Creative Director, Renier, told me how he does it: 2 hours for email, 2 hours for creating new websites, 2 hours for website maintenance and then 4 hours of fun. I'm not very good at this yet. Though the 4 hours of fun sound… er… fun!
  5. Limit distractions.
    If you need to get things done, go sit in a quiet room by yourself, turn of your phone (do it!), turn off your email and turn off your (Facebook) messenger. Simple example: I always open a new browser window with my Dutch football site set as default page. Fun! Do I want to know how much time this costs me every day? I'd be shocked, I'm sure. I should really open with an empty page, I know...
  6. Have breaks!
    Hey, this sounds like fun. Well, it should be. Work for an hour or two, and go walk your dog. Or go outside and kick a ball for a few minutes. Chat with buddies. Whatever... I do all of the above in random order. Find out what relaxes you and do it for 5-10 minutes.

And then there are a few other things you can do: make sure you sleep enough the night before an important day, avoid time vampires (people that suck away your precious time—unfortunately these are usually good or fun people, like family and friends) or plan extra time for tasks.

These are the main tips that work for me, or that I know would be good for me to follow. I'm sure there are a ton of other things you can use to help keep your time manageable. Have any pointers yourself? Be sure to email me!

I hope these tips help. Enjoy all that extra time I just saved you!

Cheers, Will.