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Five life hacks to keep you on track

Written by Candace King
12/2/2014

Student using computer
If you’re anything like me, and you like being involved in lots of activities, then you know that having time to do all of these things well, while meeting deadlines in your classes, is easier said than done. My freshman year at IC, I struggled with time management. In fact, I still struggle to this day. I have been taking steps to undo my bad habits by going to workshops like “Life Hacks,” led by Dave Cameron '96, who gave the presentation as part of the First Year Residential Experience program at IC.
 
Here’s what I took away from the session:
 
1. Set aside time to get organized: Taking time to sit down and write down the due dates of current assignments, and the time commitments for extra-curricular activities can help put priorities in perspective.
 
2. Use daily reminders and planners: Whether it’s in a phone or a planner, write down every single meeting, every single assignment, and every single commitment. I like to keep a calendar that gives me reminders so that I can stay on task.  
 
3. Develop a routine: After looking at your schedule, try to purposely block out time to get work done. Since it is in your schedule, follow it as much as possible to develop a routine. This is a way to build better habits.
 
4. Eliminate distractions: Distractions are time killers! They can take time away from what you are doing and keep you off task. Try turning your phone on ‘Do not disturb’ or silent to eliminate the urge to check your phone every time there is a notification.
 
5. Enlist your friends and family as a support system: Getting help can take your efforts to the next level because it adds another layer of accountability. If your friends and family know your schedule, then they will be mindful not to disturb you when you need to get work done and try to keep you on task.
 
I wish I knew these tips when I was a first-year student, but I also know that getting organized is a process. If you ever get stuck, know that you are not alone! Keep trying these tips to make them work for you. Time can be on your side!


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