By: Karishma Kapur
Let’s admit that as young adults, we feel like we have so much to do, so much to see, and so much to cover in our day to day lives. It can get really overwhelming to think about how much time we dedicate to work, social life, family, dating, and personal life. Some of us have high ambitions, like wanting to be entrepreneurs and the next Payal Kadakia one day, and others want to be insta-famous and be the fashionista/socialite everyone dreams of being. There’s a lot to do all at once and when you’re out of school and living your life in a new city, it becomes an important skill to have. Time management can be more of an unconscious drive for some people but for others it can be a skill that needs work. Here are a couple of tips on how to go about managing time:
Take 15 minutes and do a self assessment test - breakdown your life into categories. The typical categories for young adults are work, social, family, dating and personal but ask yourself what’s really important to you and where do you sink your time into? Sometimes your hobbies take so much of your time that they may need to be a category themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, but being aware is the most important step! So take the time to write out currently where most of your time goes and where you want your time to go in the future. Rank what you think is the most important for yourself.. Everyone’s answers will be different and there is no “correct” answer. The point of this is to become aware of yourself and where you want your time to go into.
Try using a calendar - whether this means a dot journal, a physical calendar or an online calendar, it helps you lay out your plans. Using an online calendar has been most beneficial for me because you can access it from multiple devices, easily set up meetings and appointments, set up reminders and schedule recurring events. I include my work meetings, social and personal plans (doctors, visiting family, etc.) all on the same calendar. While this can get overwhelming, I also found it helpful to color code it as well. Try a system and see how it works for you - if you think about everything on it’s own, it can get overwhelming so this is a condensed way to go about it!
Prioritize having a couple of hours to yourself every week. This is very important in adult life. We’re at the stages of trying to figure ourselves out and if we don’t dedicate time to ourselves, how are we ever going to that? Whether this means working out, watching TV, doing a hobby such as dancing or karate, it’s incredibly important to do things alone and for yourself. This will help nourish your mind from the noise and focus on things you like to do. This stage will help you figure yourself out as much as possible.
Remind yourself that you don’t have to do it all right away. With the millennial culture, we’re often reminded that these 5 entrepreneurs were able to do it all, have a social life, make money, get a job they love, have great relationships, etc. This is not the case for most people. You don’t have to do everything at once! When you go through the self-assessment test, if dating is the least important priority for yourself, you don’t have to dedicate time into it every week. Go on a date once a month or no need to at all. Not everyone is expected to do everything at once and remember we’re young. We have the time to ourselves and the most important thing is to enjoy this time. If we keep planning and keep going, we’ll end up forgetting what we’ve done since we didn’t take the time to actually enjoy it.
Be efficient in your time and take breaks. Yes, this sounds like a paradox. However, it’s important to do both (because life can be a paradox sometimes). Being efficient in your time will help you cut hours out of your day. If you scheduled in 1.5 hours to work out, critically think - do you actually work out for those 1.5 hours or do you walk around / are on your phone? Realizing that you may actually only work out for 45 minutes, shorten that time down to 50 minutes dedicated to working out and go ham at the gym! Focus on your body’s health rather than going on Instagram. It’s critical to focus on the actual task that you’re doing rather than trying to do 10 things at once. Therefore, if you’re able to focus on each task individually, you’ll be able to be more efficient in your time. However, being focused all the time might drive some people crazy and doesn’t actually let people live their lives to the fullest. Take breaks from being efficient and spend an afternoon for “self time.” Go wander and don’t have a plan - go take a vacation for a long weekend and treat yourself to a nice margarita in the Hamptons. It’s important to give yourself breaks and just enjoy the wave as it comes!
Now, these are all small tips to help you manage time - you don’t have to do them at once. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed with life and need to figure out a way to change things up, start here and try out one of these suggestions. Who knows, you may end up with more free time than you thought?