by Gigi Ngcobo
As a college student, I constantly feel like I’m chasing a deadline and never have enough time. In a week I take 5 courses, work 20 hours a week, volunteer for 5 hours, I do a 4-hour radio show, I case interview weekly, write for Girl Boss, I have a boyfriend, and I try to keep a healthy social life. With all these activities I often feel as though I need to have 28hr days. Sadly, I don’t have superpowers. Instead, I have found other ways that help me create more time:
- If you have extra money – HIRE A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Upon reflecting on my first semester in my second year I realized that I had missed 5 deadlines in my classes, I had received B’s instead of A’s because I had been late and I had been told to work on my timeliness by my boss. In all of these instances I had forgotten a deadline, and if I wanted to improve I needed someone to help me with keeping an active calendar; hence, I got an assistant online, whom I pay hourly. My assistant helps input all-important deadlines onto my calendar. She helps with replying to my emails, researching opportunities I’d like to be involved in and anything else I require.
Having an assistant is costly but it saved me time with planning, and it allowed me to focus on only what I had to do. This is what my calendar looks like, and because I can know what’s coming up, I can plan for it.
I would recommend looking at Fiverr for an assistant or help with something you aren’t good at doing. You can also sell your services there and earn money by being someone’s assistant.
2. Learn what GOOGLE CALENDAR can do!
I don’t know how I ever lived without a calendar. They are often free and dynamic and take time to get used to, so if you can get your hands on an electronic one use Google Calendar. It has:
Seven versatile views:
Being able to view things in different ways sets Google apart for me as I can see what I need to do daily, weekly or monthly. When I need to look at where to focus my attention, being able to view just a week helps my mind feel less overwhelmed and as though I am capable of achieving my tasks.
It keeps tasks:
A calendar isn’t only for reminding you of events, it’s there to capture tasks that have no deadline, but you need to do. Google’s calendar allows me to think of everything I need to do and tick it off as I complete it. If I haven’t ticked it, it’s automatically moved into the next day, so I remember to finish it.
Collaborating is easy:
Google’s calendar lets you share your schedule with others and vice versa, while also seeing other public calendars. This means that you can have calendars for different activities such as school and radio, you can also select what appears and what doesn’t. If you work with groups or have schedules at work being able to share your availability is useful and saves you time; hence I enjoy using Google calendar.
3. START DOING THE TASK, just START.
The biggest productivity hack I’ll give anyone is, start doing whatever it is you need to do. If you have to write a paper, start with the outline; if you have to edit, skim read and if you have to do anything think of the first step and do that. Harvard psychologists have found that when attempting to fight procrastination, starting decreases chances of you procrastinating dramatically and encourages the mind to seek completion. Having an assistant ss costly but it saved me a lot of time with planning and it allowed me to focus on only what I had to do.