These days, my worst enemy is the clock. I hate that there are only 24 hours in a day. Sometimes I am also furious at the human body, frustrated that it needs sleep to function.  If you find yourself thinking like me (and if you are in PR, it is likely that you do) then my guess is you also have that never ending to-do list. That is why I was so eager to read Amber Naslund’s post titled “10 Rules for Consistent Execution,” where she gave helpful tips about managing time. While she provided really good ideas, she is also an established professional with a career, something that I am not fortunate enough to claim (yet). So I tweaked her list a bit to tailor it to other college students like myself, especially to the PR students who are more likely to relate to my life’s struggle of time management.

1.) Make lists and keep planners. These things keep my life organized. I have the giant planner with the whole monthly calendar on one page, because I need to see what lies ahead of me.  I always make to-do lists, often multiple ones in a day, which helps me prioritize what needs to get done. Sometimes I never look at them again, but just writing the stuff down that I need to accomplish makes me feel better (I’m old fashioned and still prefer a paper list). Plus there is no better feeling in the world than seeing a completely crossed out to-do list!

2.) Limit your social media usage (for fun). I find myself getting easily distracted checking my Facebook page and somehow a half hour has passed and I did nothing productive-I know we are all guilty of this! So now I am trying to limit my social media “for fun” usage to twice a day for no longer than a half hour. Yet I do not count my Tweet deck or Facebook notifications that get sent to my phone. 🙂

3.) Get a smartphone. While this may not be in the budget for some, having a phone with immediate internet access has saved me so much time with its convenience. I have instant access to my email and can accomplish a lot without having to drag my laptop everywhere. Plus, it is extremely beneficial for managing a client’s social media account and monitoring media coverage.

4.) Do not over commit. You do not have to do it all and you can say no! I find myself eager to do too many things, and then I have my plate too full. Even though I really want to write that press release and do those media pitches, sometimes it’s okay to pass it up to another if I already have a bunch of other stuff to do. And even though I always want to help a coworker out and make extra money, sometimes I just need to say no, I can’t pick up that extra shift.

5.) Get sleep! While some can operate on 3 hours of sleep, I cannot. I am completely useless the next day.  While sometimes lack of sleep is inevitable, I try to avoid it. Because even though I think staying up till 3 AM to finish stuff will benefit me, the next day I cannot even think straight and the other things I need to do will suffer. Coffee only gets you so far and trust me, I know this. I’m a barista.

While some of these tips may seem obvious, it took me awhile to figure out a system and rules that work for me. Do you have any other tips or ideas on time management?

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