Time management has always been a must-have for future lawyers. It is essential for handling a work load efficiently and with attention to detail. Not only is time management one of the most important skills in almost every profession, it might also be necessary to ensure that you are performing at your best at university. Here is my five step system on managing your time efficiently.
The best way to start is to figure out what exactly you do with your time on a daily basis. Start measuring your day to day activities, even if it is doing laundry or working on a 2,000 word essay. A time-keeping app on your smart phone like ATracker can help you with this, or you can simply jot down the times you started and finished an activity. With a bit of spreadsheet know-how, you can piece your data together and see where that time is going. If you are a super tech wizz, maybe a pie chart will give you a better idea?
How does it look to you, are you surprised? Are you getting the recommended 4-6 hours of preparation for each module a week, or are you watching too much Netflix? Where is your spare time and how can you better allocate it? These are all the questions you should be asking yourself at the reflection stage. At this point, it might also be a good idea to talk to your peers and see how they’re doing. An objective opinion is the best verification.
Come up with a strategy. How are you going to be more efficient this time? What are you going to do more of and less of? Once you have figured that out, maybe you can magic up a timetable. You could draw it up on Excel or download a productivity app. I use my iCloud calendar and set reminder alerts; it runs my life.
How is it going? Are you keeping to your timetable? Are you working too little or too much? All these questions will help you decide whether to progress on to step 5 or give step 3 another go. Have a look at my list of tips at the end of the article, they might be useful at this stage.
If you are satisfied with your strategy, make sure you keep to it! Complacency can lead to ignorance, so it is essential that you keep reviewing your time plan for maximum efficiency.
Time Management Tips
- Don’t be afraid to reschedule – life is sometimes like that.
- Does it have to be done right away, or can you come back to it later?
- Now sure how to handle your priorities? Consult Eisenhower’s principle.
- Be motivated about it – completing tasks are accomplishments.
- Make time for you, your friends and your family.
- Don’t over work yourself, put your well being first.
- Little jobs? Make a to-do list instead!
- Is multitasking a good idea or do you need to stay task-focused?