Lessons in Time-Management

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Today, I came across a list of the “15 most caffeinated professions.” Public relations professionals are #2 on the list, right behind lab technicians – PR professionals are even above nurses and professors! This made me laugh a bit, one of those nervous, “oh no, what am I getting myself into” laughs. As a PR student, not even a professional, I feel like I’ve consumed enough coffee to last me a lifetime – at least enough coffee to make my doctor shake his head.
I was warned that junior year would be the hardest year yet, and with upper-division classes, being on the PRSSA board, ISA, and Bateman… they weren’t kidding! Even though there are some late nights, and lots of coffee, everything gets done – even when I’m complaining to my friends that there’s “no possible way I’ll be able to get everything done.”
Although I’m only about 2 months into my junior year, I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons in time-management. So, in this blog post, I’m going to share two lessons I’ve learned that have led me to scratch more off my to-do list.

  1. It’s OK to say no

FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out. FOMO is all too real. The past two years, the thought of missing out on a Taco Bell run or a day-trip to Chicago seemed worse than failing an exam. “What if they post an Instagram picture, and I won’t be in it?” and “I can’t bear to watch their fun, exciting snapchat stories from my desk” were thoughts floating through my head as I debated going out or doing homework.
I soon began to realize that the stress that was caused by not getting homework done outweighed the stress of not being in an Instagram picture. The elation that came from crossing another assignment off in my agenda greatly outweighed being included in a Snapchat.
I learned that my friends will still be there even if I don’t go out for pizza with them this one time, but my 12 a.m. deadline won’t be so forgiving.
It’s OK to say no!

  1. Utilize small blocks of time throughout the day

My main times of productivity, at least when it came to homework, would always be between the hours of 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Although this is still a great time for me to get things done, I began to feel swamped and tired from saving everything till late at night. I then took a hard look at my schedule and realized there were times during the day, albeit small blocks of time, that I could get things done.
Normally, if I have an hour in between two of my classes, I’ll get coffee and open my laptop like I’m going to start something, but I’ll actually end up just talking with friends – soon, the hour is up. Although this hour to just relax is super necessary sometimes, it’s also a great hour to utilize if I’m feeling a little more overwhelmed that week.  If I go to the library, put in my headphones, and work for a solid hour, I can knock out about two assignments – and it’s only noon! Now, I don’t have to feel too guilty if I say yes to going out later that day.

Written By: Emma Vandermark, Associate Account Executive

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