AKA How to Watch Netflix and Not Feel Guilty About It
By Zoe Shaw (Editor-in-Chief)
Are you trying to balance classes, studying, essays, a part-time job, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and a social life? If you can succeed in all of these without much thought, then congratulations. If not, you might need to put a little more thought into managing your time properly.
1. Add structure to your week. If you’ve got too much time, this could be damaging your productivity. With so much time to do your homework, you can end up procrastinating and having to do everything the night before your class. Consider getting a part-time job if you can, but limit your hours to no more than fifteen a week. Join a campus club or sport that has regular meetings and practices. Now you have less free hours throughout the week, but this structure can help you optimize those hours.
2. Make a schedule. To help you visualize your week, draw a schedule or make one on your computer that first includes your classes, work hours, and extracurricular activities. Now that you see how much time you have left to yourself, dedicate realistic chunks of time where you know you can do schoolwork. Maybe it’s on the nights when your best friend has work, or on Saturday mornings when everyone is sleeping in. Include time for hobbies, too. The rest is free time, where you can relax and do something that makes you happy.
3. Set goals. Write a list of the things you want to accomplish this week, this month, or even this year. They can be school-related, like keeping your grades up, or personal, like spending more time with your family. Keep them somewhere you can see them, like on your wall or in your planner.
4. Make a to-do list. Before I go to sleep, I make a list of the tasks that I have to do the next day, either in order of importance or in the order in which I will do them. You can also make these weekly if you don’t know exactly when they can get done.
5. Make the most out of your time. If you do a lot of walking, listen to audiobook versions of your assigned readings if you can find them. Study on the bus. Make an outline for your next essay during your breaks.
6. Be realistic. If you barely have time to sleep or to see your friends several weeks in a row, you might want to consider reducing your work hours or watching one episode of your show on Netflix instead of a whole season.
Since everyone is different, not all of these tips will work for everybody. However, you can adapt all of them to your own strengths and weaknesses. If you start managing your time early in the semester, you can perfect these strategies by the time mid-terms and finals come around.