by Elizabeth Campbell

You know  how sometimes you’re overwhelmed with projects, family events, hanging out with friends, your job, and any clubs you’re involved in? And you know how sometimes that feels like you couldn’t possibly do more than what you are doing already? Well, that is so unbelievably untrue.

During college I often felt like I never had the time to get anything done. Between working multiple jobs, being involved in clubs, trying to keep up with my family, and maintain relationships, it was difficult to find extra time. But as time went on I realized this wasn’t because of the many different aspects of my life I was trying to juggle, it was because I wasn’t utilizing my time efficiently and effectively.

Everyone is given the same 24 hours in a day, and everyone has their own lives they have to juggle. While it is important to do well in everything that you do, it is also important to work smarter, not harder, and this is what I mean by that.

Say you have a project to finish, a test to study for, and reading for a class that you need to do so you can do your weekly assignment. First, determine which task is the most important, and which is the most time consuming. Once you have that figured out, do the most important task first. While I was still in school, the projects were usually the most important. Once you determine that, make sure you choose a topic for your project that you are already fairly knowledgeable about, have sources for, and are passionate about.

Usually it makes the project go by quickly, and then that task is done and out of the way. The next two tasks, studying for an exam and reading for a class, are usually easy to break up. If you have any readings that could help you study for the exam, read those first and get them out of the way. Then, break up the topics that will be on your exam and spend time studying what you are weakest at. If you know that you have a topic down, and know it like the back of your hand, then don’t waste a ton of time reviewing it. You need to allocate that time to the topics that don’t make that much sense to you.

Typically when I’m studying for an exam I need breaks so I have time to process what I just reviewed. That is where the rest of your reading comes in. Even though you’re “taking a break” you can use that break to read for 15 minutes for the other class. Soon enough, your studying and your reading will be over and you will still have time to hang out with your friends, go to your club meetings, and be fully present at your job. You don’t always have to spend endless hours working on assignments for school, you just have to do your work in a way where it overlaps with other assignments, and leave out what isn’t necessary.