You slam the snooze button on your alarm clock, second guessing your choice to take an eight a.m. ­class. Creeping out of bed, you begin your morning routine. You’re a full time student, a full time employee, and can’t manage to find enough time to be a part time anything else. Instead of giving in to the lurking, overwhelming cloud of failure, utilize these five tips for time management.

First, scheduling is key. You’ve scheduled your classes around your work hours, but have you planned for homework or activities? Having a planner keeps your life organized! Color coding your planner by work related time slots, courses, and various other components of your life will help you find content quickly. You can decorate your planner as much as you want or you don’t have to at all. If you are looking for a sign to stop by Hobby Lobby and pick up a super pack of colorful gel pens, this is it.

It’s important to delegate time to complete all of your work. Yet, it is just as important to schedule downtime as well. Having time to decompress by hanging out with friends or giving yourself alone time, will re-energize you so you can realign your mental space and get back to work.

Next, make sure you are planning ahead. You’ve created a clean slate to organize your work, and now you need to figure out how your schedule would be most effective. Finish the hardest tasks first. These tasks will take the longest to complete and will require the most attention. The sooner you complete them, the faster you can work through easier tasks. Congratulations, you’ve avoided the dark pits of procrastination!

Identify what motivates you. It isn’t enough to tell yourself that you’re doing what you’re doing because you have to. The more meaningful your reasons, the better. Your reasoning may be as simple as a drive to better yourself. If you don’t have a purpose for these commitments, you will find yourself questioning why you chose to do them in the first place. This will be your first step to giving up. By imagining the bigger picture, you will stomp out discouraging ideas and instead focus on something to look forward to.

Finally, focus on taking care of yourself. Eat healthy meals, drink water, and exercise so you have enough energy to make it through your busy days. Make sure you have enough time to sleep. Try to settle down early, before you’re planning to sleep, by minimizing distractions and enjoying some peaceful quiet.

You can lightly journal at this point if you choose to, read a book, focus on a nighttime routine, or whatever it is that makes you unwind. Either way, make sure you are putting yourself in a calm atmosphere so you can sleep easier. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to settle down early, and you don’t have enough time to feel fully rested, find time to nap throughout the day. Your mind needs rest, and giving yourself time to do so will improve your outlook and your mental function.

With the help of these five simple steps, you should have no trouble falling into a routine, bettering your time management. By scheduling your time, finding ways to re-energize yourself, planning ahead, motivating yourself, and taking care of yourself, you are not only preparing to balance your life throughout the school year, you are also training your mind and body to implement these practices as you go forward in the future toward your careers and other endeavors.

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