Does it seem like there's never enough time in the day to get everything done? Feel like you're always running late?
Here are some tips for taking control of your time and organizing your life.
1. Make a "to do" list every day. Put things that are most important at the top and do them first.
If it's easier, use a planner to track all of your tasks. And don't forget to reward yourself for your accomplishments.
2. Use spare minutes wisely. Get some reading done on the ride home from school, for example, and you'll kill two birds with one stone.
3. It's OK to say "no." If your boss asks you to work on a Thursday night and you have a final exam the next morning, realize that it's OK to say no. Keep your short- and long-term priorities in mind.
4. Find the right time. You'll work more efficiently if you figure out when you do your best work. For example, if your brain handles math better in the afternoon, don't wait to do it until late at night.
5. Review your notes every day. You'll reinforce what you've learned, so you need less time to study. You'll also be ready if your teacher calls on you or gives a pop quiz.
6. Get a good night's sleep. Running on empty makes the days seem longer and your tasks seem more difficult.
7. Communicate your schedule to others. If phone calls are proving to be a distraction, tell your friends that you take social calls from 7 to 8 p.m. It may sound silly, but it helps.
8. Become a taskmaster. Figure out how much free time you have each week. Give yourself a time budget and plan your activities accordingly.
9. Don't waste time agonizing. Have you ever wasted an entire evening by worrying about something that you're supposed to be doing? Was it worth it? Instead of agonizing and procrastinating, just do it.
10. Keep things in perspective. Setting goals that are unrealistic sets you up for failure. While it's good to set high goals for yourself, be sure not to overdo it. Set goals that are difficult yet reachable.
Consider these tips, but personalize your habits so that they suit you. If you set priorities that fit your lifestyle, you'll have a better chance of achieving your goals.
• Bob McDonnell is executive director of Arizona College Planners, L.L.C., a member of the College Planning Network, the National Association of College Funding Advisors and the National Association of College Acceptance Counselors. For questions, email Info@ArizonaCollegePlanners.com.