photo credit: Chuck Ingwerson
Budgeting your time is as important as budgeting your money! Whether you're a college student, working full-time, or still searching for life's purpose (when you find it let me know!), effective time management can make your life much less stressful.
Track your time
Just like you would track your spending before setting a budget, spend a week tracking your time. What do you do after class? How much time do you spend on the computer? Or, if you're like me . . . how much time do you spend watching TV and not cleaning? Once you can see how you spend your time, it will be easier to cut things out.
Use an Excel spreadsheet to block out your time. Color code things like "class", "work", "computer", "meetings" etc. Plotting out your commitments visually can help you see the proportional amounts you spend on each activity.
Fixed commitments like class and work can't change, but other time commitments can. If you see that you have plenty of time outside of class and work, consider picking up an extracurricular activity or start volunteering once a week. Not only do these look great on resumes, they fill up time that would otherwise be used wasting away in front of a TV or computer!
On the other hand, if you look at your schedule and see too many activities, it's time to cut back. Again, work and class can't change, but if you find out that you're spending too much time doing things with your fraternity, church group, or picking up extra shifts, cut back on that. Your stress levels will decrease, and you'll see your productivity soar!
Reward yourself with some time off! Especially after a crazy important test or a big project at work, you need time to unwind. This could be anything you enjoy-- hanging out with friends, going for a long bike ride, or sitting in bed with a bag of chips and a Diet Coke watching "When Harry Met Sally." (Yeah, I do that.) Having scheduled down time often will help keep you in the best spirits possible.
Special thanks to CollegeToCareers.com for the tips!
Budgeting time is not much different from budgeting money. The basic strategy of "Track, organize, prioritize, cut back, reward" works for both. And budgeting both money AND time can help you live as Young & Free as you can be :)
SORRY for that cheesy last line. But I'm leaving it.