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Finding balance in a busy schedule can be a challenge. We balance career training, homework, jobs, family life, and social life, all while trying to make time for ourselves when we can. Some days we wake up wondering how we’re going to get it all done—other days we move so fast we don’t even have to time to think. So, how do we juggle it all?

Here are five tips to help you manage your busy schedule more efficiently.

1. Prioritize

This is the most crucial aspect of managing your time. Making a list of all the important things to get done allows you to keep track of everything and feel accomplished when you strike off a task as completed.

At the top of your list, prioritize which tasks are most important, and continue through your list in that order. Reminding yourself of the aspects in your life that require the most attention will give you a clear sense of direction.

2. Organize and plan

Planning ahead is a good way to keep track of upcoming events so you don’t become overbooked. You can begin organizing by keeping a calendar and writing down all of your commitments. When you clearly see an organized list of upcoming deadlines, you can spot the times when you are able to squeeze in that much needed nap or plan ahead to work on that lingering project due next month.

3. Take advantage of free time

In those rare but wonderful moments of free time, don’t just slump into a chair and scroll through your Facebook feed. Instead, take a walk outside, go for a bike ride, take a power nap, call your mom, or make dinner plans with friends.

Do things that allow you to step away from school and work, both physically and mentally. You will be more productive later because of it.

4. Learn to say no

Are people always asking you for a favor? Whether it be covering their shift at work, watching their toddler for the afternoon, or finishing a group project on your own, remember you have the right to say no.

Taking on too many responsibilities will not only leave you feeling drained but also negatively affect your own commitments. Focus on your priorities and help others out when you’re sure you have the spare time and energy.

5. Don’t forget the essentials

It’s too easy to get caught up in your busy schedule and forget the basics, like eating, sleeping, and exercising. Plan accordingly to give yourself a solid seven hours of sleep a night, three balanced meals a day, and time for exercise.

Investing in yourself is the best gift you can receive. Doing these things will lead to a happier, healthier, and more balanced you.

How do you manage your time? Comment below, or contact our career services staff for more advice.

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