How We Manage Our Time

Time management is no cinch, especially when you’re working full time, pursuing a degree, and juggling other major responsibilities. But we make things work, and each of us has a different strategy.

Infinity time spiralHere are a few methods we use to stay productive. We want to hear your tips, too! Share them at the bottom in the comments field.

Prioritize and Break Down Work

“I like to prioritize by the amount of time a task will take as well as the importance. Once you’ve completed a few smaller tasks the momentum builds for the bigger ones.”
-Courtney Karmelita, Academic Advising

“Whenever possible, I break down large assignments into smaller and more manageable parts. Rather than looking at when an assignment is due (particularly if it is due well off into the future), I break it down into smaller assignments that I can complete every few days or weeks. This helps keep me focused and makes the overall deadline seem less daunting.”
-Jan Mellon, Registrar

Be Prepared for Down Time

“Always have a textbook to read, assigned article, paper to revise, practice tests, or flash cards with you so when you have unexpected down time (lines, cancelled meetings, waiting rooms) you can fill it preparing for a class.”
-Brian Petrosky, Continuing Education

Don’t Doubt To-Do Lists

“It may be old fashioned, but I still write out to-do lists on paper and cross them out. This is the only way I feel satisfied that I am getting tasks completed.”
-Alli Downs, Academic Advising

“I have used multiple tools to create and manage my tasks. Many of the tools I have used are technology-based — Evernote, Remember the Milk, Tasky, OneNote etc. All of these tools are fine but none has been more satisfying than writing down my tasks on a memo pad and then, as I complete the task, swiping the pen across the paper to show the task has been completed.”
-Erin Cooley, Marketing

“In both my personal and professional life, I stay as organized as possible by handwriting my daily to-do list, using Evernote for long-term lists, clearing out my emails every day — by replying, filing or deleting — and keeping a clean physical space. I like to know where everything is when I need it! All these factors cut down on time spent doing administrative work and free up time for projects and thinking!”
-Kristen Hanna, Marketing

Multiple Tools for Multiple Projects

“I use a massive spreadsheet that keeps track of all my major projects. On top of that, I use daily post-it notes with a short list of items I need to accomplish the following day.”
-David McClelland, Marketing

“To manage long-term projects, I use a white board to write down monthly goals I need to complete, then, I write down weekly tasks that need to be met, I use the white board to help inform my daily ‘Post-it note’ task sheet.”
-Erin Cooley, Marketing

Now Your Turn: Comment below to share your strategies. How do you stay productive in the face of life’s many responsibilities?