I used to consider myself great at managing my time in college, when I was working a part-time work schedule around a full-time class schedule. I thought it was easy until my internship showed me how important it is to make every day count when you are working from home. The first 2 weeks of my internship I would complete my tasks THE DAY they were due. This was not my best idea. I was turning in sub-par work that I did not work on for more than 3 hours. This happened because of the loose due dates I was given, and also the cultural difference between business in America and the Czech Republic. My supervisor would give me tasks and say, “Have them done by Friday, or whenever you can get them done, no rush.” This STRESSED me out. It made me feel like I could wait till Friday to do them and turn them in on Monday if I needed to. I knew I needed to conduct a new strategy ASAP. Time management takes time… how ironic. I made myself my own schedule that worked perfectly for my work load for my internship abroad along with my summer classes and my part-time job.
Working remotely allows you to perfectly formulate a schedule that works best for you. One thing that helped me out the most was first creating a rough draft work-plan, which is basically a template of how much time each day you are going to focus on different subjects. For me, I split up my time into 4 categories: class, study-work-internship. The rest of my day was kept for social gatherings, working out, and spending time with family… and sleep of course. Once I knew how much time I wanted to focus on each category, I conducted a schedule that would work for me each week of the summer.
Another great tip is to splurge on a nice planner that will help you keep your schedule in writing where you can easily edit your plans; some planners these days even have a budget system implanted to help you with your money. Another great app is Google Calendar – I used this application for my internship and it worked perfectly because it automatically converts time zones for events, which was super helpful since the time difference from Iowa to Czechia is 7 hours! Another great application, if you prefer online time management, is Notion. Notion helps you electronically plan out your week and it is extremely helpful for those who have a lot on their plate!
Time management is something that anyone can improve upon. I believe it is a mandatory skill to have in the workforce, and a great time to start implementing the skill is in college!
Riley Mihm is a Summer 2021 CEA Content Contributor and a virtual intern for an organization in Prague, Czech Republic. She is currently a student at the University of Iowa.
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