Create a work area for yourself free from distractions (phone, roommates, tv), and commit to staying there for a one to two hour period.
Recognize that your obligations and resulting stress are as important as other people's needs, and set limits around being interrupted or rescheduling your work time.
Break larger tasks, such as papers or projects, into smaller goal steps.
Create a schedule for yourself, by doing the following:
List all projects, exams, and papers with their due dates.
Break larger tasks into smaller goals, such as "library research for paper 2" and select target dates for completion of the smaller goals.
Identify what time of day you have the highest energy and what time of day is your low energy period. Schedule tasks that take greater effort (concentration, enthusiasm) during high energy periods and plan rest breaks and more mundane tasks (such as laundry) during low energy periods.
Plan out a realistic, weekly schedule hour by hour. Remember to schedule time out every day for sleep, meals, social time, and some exercise and/or relaxation time.
If possible, have someone who knows you well look over your schedule and give you feedback.
Try your new schedule. Remember, you're trying something new. It's okay to fine tune it or adjust it after you give it a try for a week.
The Engagement Center also offers workshops to help you learn better time management skills and avoid procrastination. Check out their website for more information on dates and times for workshops. Here's a sample of what they offer:
Find effective scheduling techniques and organizational strategies to prioritize to-dos, beat deadlines, and rebalance your life.
The increasing pressure to achieve makes time management a vital skill. Successful Time Management contains tips and techniques that can help anyone review and assess their own time management and adopt new work practices to improve it. It includes great advice on controlling paperwork, getting and staying organized, delegating and working with others, and prioritizing to focus on key issues. The appendices include a brief assessment of various time management systems such as day, year or meeting planners, action sheets, and more. This 3rd edition includes new information on managing emails and keeping on top of an inbox and is updated to include content that is applicable to all employees, not just managers.
How to Organize Yourself will help you to dramatically improve the way you work. With great tips on how to determine your goals, prioritize and manage your time, it also includes practical advice on how to: focus on the things that produce results; overcome distractions; build positive work habits; avoid information overload; and make effective use of technology. Now in its fourth edition How to Organize Yourself will enable you to take control of your workload, reduce stress and fatigue, and free up time for the things that really matter.