To give you some background, in addition to my 17 hour internship with the Grameen Foundation I also work at a sports bar and help coordinate a swim school that practices in the AU pool. I am involved as a Brother of the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity and a player on the AU Club Volleyball Team and oh yeah, I also go to class!
How do I manage my time commitments? I have a time turner like Hermione in Harry Potter. Just kidding, but sometimes I wish I did! I’ve had a great deal of practice at time management—so I never feel too overwhelmed. Let me share some of my favorite time management tips:
1. Always have a planner/schedule.
At the beginning of the semester I organize my basic schedule (class, work) accordingly so that I can get hours at each job and avoid conflicts. This semester I have so much going on that I made a schedule on the computer and printed out several copies to fill in each week. Have a hard copy to back you up help—that way you don’t have to rely on your own memory. Use whatever works for you: Google, iCal, or good ole fashion pen and paper.
2. Pencil in some fun
Make sure your schedule includes time to do something you WANT to do. Whether it be catching up on Netflix, going to the gym, cooking, hanging out with friends, playing soccer, whatever you love—make time to enjoy it. Taking a few minutes to release endorphins will make you more productive and happier! Each week I look forward to taking time out to play volleyball, go to the gym, and watch Modern Family or Law & Order!
3. Work at work
As young, energetic college students most of us are very good at multi-tasking. However, sometimes it gets hard to juggle everything at once without letting something fall through the cracks. In order to ensure my internship work is high-quality I’ve had to separate it from my other jobs and school work. This semester, I only work on my internship during the 17 hours I am in the office. This is the time I check my email and work on my deliverables. Compartmentalizing like this helps prevents stress and feeling of being overwhelmed.
4. Enjoy what you do
Don’t get stuck in an internship where you feel useless, bored, or stressed. Select a job in a field you are interested in or want to learn more about. Take every opportunity to network, meet people, and absorb as much as you can. Take on additional projects that may interest you—you’ll be hard pressed to find an employer that will say “no” when you ask for more work. This will give you experience and keep you busy/entertained. Take advantage of your internship to learn as much as you can—you may decide you love the field or maybe it isn’t for you.
Hope some of these tips help you manage your lives and increase your productivity and happiness levels J Feel free to contact me with any questions.