4. Use the Pomodoro Technique
Once you’ve established your time blocks, make the most of them by eliminating distractions. Turn off notifications, settle into a comfortable environment and bring some water.
From there, you might consider implementing the Pomodoro Technique. This time management strategy involves working in focused bursts that typically last 20 to 25 minutes. These are followed by five-minute breaks.
After completing four of these cycles in about two hours, reward yourself with a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes.
By harnessing the power of these concentrated work bursts and mindful breaks, you can improve your time management skills and maintain motivation and focus, which ultimately boosts your efficiency.
5. Learn to say no and delegate
As a working adult student, it’s crucial to acknowledge your limits and feel empowered to say no to non-essential commitments. This is a time to prioritize, which means focusing on what pays the bills and what gets you to graduation.
If you’re a caregiver or parent and those pesky sign-up sheets start circulating the school grounds, sign up for a task with a smaller time commitment. Remember, there’s no shame in getting involved in the post-event cleanup or in donating supplies. Your willingness to contribute shows dedication and support for your child’s education, regardless of the task’s time commitment.
Also, consider delegating tasks whenever possible. You can involve family members or roommates in household chores. You can also consider outsourcing or automating tasks when possible. Think landscaping or bill paying. It’s OK to ask for help.
A growth mindset can help improve time management
As an adult student managing multiple responsibilities, it’s important to cultivate a growth mindset and embrace challenges as opportunities. This can not only help you grow as a professional and a person, but it can also be an important step forward in improving your time management. Recognize that setbacks and obstacles are inevitable, but they don’t define you, and they don’t dictate your journey.
Instead of getting discouraged, approach each challenge with curiosity and a willingness to learn. Reflect on your experiences, identify areas for improvement and seek feedback from professors, mentors or peers.
Each challenge, after all, is a chance to develop new skills and resilience. By reframing setbacks as stepping stones, you’ll cultivate a mindset that empowers you to thrive in the face of adversity — and that just helps you save time too.
Taken together, these five strategies can help you improve your time management, empowering you to navigate the demands of adult student life with grace, confidence and commitment to your success.