How To Manage Your Time Well

by: Doa Jamal, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader

Oftentimes, when asked about what our skills are, we say we are good at time management. For many of us, this may be a blatant lie, and we are aware that this is a skill we need to work on. So, how do we get better at managing our time? Once again, I think most of us are aware of the obvious answer. The answer is to make a schedule (and then actually stick to it!).

Before we get to the actual schedule-making, here are some things to recognize if you are looking to improve your time management

  1. Your schedule is based on your priorities. Before you make your schedule, you need to know your priorities. Are you an athlete that needs to make it to practice on time? Is piano important to you,and you have to make sure you attend your daily piano classes? Do you prioritize sleep and your health?
  2.  Once you’ve made your schedule, although you need to use the schedule, you are not confined to the schedule! You can still go out with friends even it is not on your schedule. You can still go to bed earlier if you feel sick or tired.

Now to the schedule-making! We are going to skip forward to after you have made your class schedule. Remember that your class schedule was already built around your main priorities (i.e sports practice, work, etc). Now, I encourage you to print out a 24-hour schedule sheet so you can write on it. If you are tech-savvy you can do this online if you prefer.

Here is a template you can use:

For a printable version of this, please email

First, add on those top priorities For example, write in when you have practice and/or when you have work. Next, add in any extracurriculars. What days and times are club meetings? Then, you can add in what times you are going to exercise. If you like, you can block out times to eat as well.

Finally, the most important part! Sleep! Block out when you’re going to sleep! I am legally obligated (not really! I’m just kidding!) to encourage you to get a full 8 hours of sleep every night. Realistically, as we know, that is nearly impossible for college students. So instead, I recommend you choose a minimum number of hours of sleep and a strict absolutely must-go-to-bed-by time. This may change depending on the day. For example, I make sure to get at least 5 hours of sleep each night. If I have to get up at 6:00 am on a certain day of the week, I only allow myself to stay up until 1:00 am (although I usually try to be in bed by midnight). If I have to get up at 7:00 am, I can stay up studying until 3 am at maximum (this rarely happens though since I value my sleep). You may choose to plan for 7 or 8 hours a night (good job!), however, I implore you to not try and get by with 4 hours or less of sleep. Coffee and energy drinks can only take you so far. If you don’t get enough sleep it takes a toll on both your body and mind and your body will eventually crash and burn.

Here is a sample schedule:

Now, your general schedule is built! You may choose to add specific times to study, or you may not. Building your schedule was one step toward better managing your time. The next step is figuring out what goes in the blanks of your schedule. That is, when you have time in between items, what are you doing? For example, if you have two hours in between classes (and this block of time isn’t the scheduled time for exercise) what do you choose to do? Do you take a break and watch Netflix? Do you choose to do homework/study? And most importantly, which homework do you do? Do you work on a project that is due in a week or do you do your homework that is due in 2 days? The choice may seem obvious when stated with the deadlines but often you may not be aware of the deadlines until they sneak up on you. I am a strong advocate for turning in assignments on time!! Getting a few points taken off may not seem like a big deal but those little points add up fast if you make a habit of turning assignments in late.

To organize your to-do list and make sure you complete your work on time, I highly suggest using a planner/agenda book. This allows you to see when everything is due and what events you have, and thus be able to prioritize your actions. In your planner, write the deadlines of assignments. Add in the dates when you have tests and quizzes. Then, and this is the important part, write in when you are going to work on that assignment or study for that quiz. For example, as shown in the photo below, I write that my quiz is on Wednesday and that I am going to study for it on Tuesday. I write that my Biostatistics homework is due on Thursday, and I am most likely going to do it on Wednesday. If there is time before then,  I can do the Biostatistics homework before Wednesday. However, this makes me at least aware of my deadlines and keeps me on track. Another example is that I have to fill out a form by a certain date so I write when it is due and when I plan to fill out the form. Additionally, I have events in my planner such as when the Pre-Med E-board meeting is, as well as work to do for the club. Essentially, no task is too small to not be included in your planner. For instance, I also include reminders to email a professor or to post a reminder about a club event on Instagram.

If you truly make a schedule, stick to it  and utilize your planner, you are almost guaranteed to be much better at managing your time (Source: Trust me, bro). So, if you do not already have a planner, go out and buy one! Start organizing your time and be more productive!

Motivation vs. Discipline

by: Medi Woldemichael, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader,

What is “Motivation”? It is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something. Take a moment and ask yourself, “Am I always motivated?” or “When do I lack motivation?” Motivation is a powerful, yet delicate feeling that is good at playing games with us. It will sometimes appear as an energetic and enthusiastic friend. Other times, you’ll catch yourself in a pit of laziness that echoes procrastination. When something around us motivates us to make a change in the early stages, we are encouraged to take on the task. However, at some point, that motivation may fade.

I used to think that motivation was the most crucial factor in accomplishing my goals and achieving success in different areas of my life, and many of you might still feel like that. However, from experience, I know discipline is essential for achieving goals, not just motivation. When we set goals for our lives, we might not always be able to rely on that motivation to stimulate our effort consistently for an extended time; that’s where self-discipline comes in. Self-discipline will help us in deciding to resist daily temptations that may stop us from progressing toward our goals. In a world where motivating advice and resources are readily available, it becomes evident [MHM1] [WS2] [MHM3] that motivation alone is insufficient to result in achievement and achieve goals, or else everyone would be achieving their goals. That’s why we must choose Discipline on top of Motivation.

Motivation is the starting point. It excites emotions, ideas, inspiration, and excitement, which are wonderful and important! Yet some people stop there. We stop ourselves when we think, “I just need to get motivated,” but it requires more. To be successful in any area of our lives, we must move from motivating feelings to disciplined acts.

To the person who wants to be fit – be disciplined to continue that weekly routine of exercise and quality diet choices.

To the person who wants to start that business – be disciplined to do the research, planning, and journey step by step.

To the person who wants to be in a better financial position – be disciplined to make wiser decisions by spending less, investing, and saving more.

To the person who wants to step into their desired career – be disciplined to do the studying, gaining experience, and hard yards required to get there.

To the person writing that book – be disciplined to write daily and stick to your word-count goals.

Maintaining discipline through everyday routines and habits may appear tedious, yet you grow one step forward each day. You’ll be surprised at how quickly discipline spreads to other aspects of your life after you apply it to just one!

Is comparing ourselves to others a bad thing or a good one?

by: Alejandra MalagaWalters, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader

Have you ever felt less than someone or insecure because you are not living up to the accomplishments of your classmates? We are constantly comparing ourselves with the people that surround us, just as our siblings, friends, or high school classmates, but why? Why do we compare ourselves to others? According to psychologists, comparisons are a natural human tendency. In fact, people do it all the time. However, comparisons can also be a double-edged sword. They can be a powerful motivator, but sometimes they can be a strong deterrent from doing something you want, and that’s when they become not good for our mental health. Here are a few tips to change your perspective.

If you think about the people whom you consider to be “better” than you in some way, you can often fall into this trap. You may look at the person and think, “I’ll never be able to do that”, or “I’ll never be as good at that as that person”. The strategy is to change those thoughts. Instead of thinking about “what you can’t do”, think about “what you can do to achieve that”. This doesn’t mean you have to do what others do because that would be unauthentic to you, and what if you don’t like what they are doing? You should focus instead on things you like, enjoy, and are good at. Use what people did to achieve their goals as a motivation to start doing what you love. Then, find people that love that too. You will learn from them and be inspired by them.

Comparisons are normal in human beings and can be good motivators to increase personal achievements. It can also be helpful to challenge yourself to do what you have always wanted to do or be. However, if we start comparing ourselves too much it can lead us to pain. Be aware that everyone has completely different life experiences and goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself!


How to Get Enough Sleep Step-By-Step

by: Casey Tiernan, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences Well-being Leader

Do you ever wake up with little to no energy? Me too. This is a normal college experience for many students. This will be a step-by-step guide on how to get enough sleep to help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Getting enough sleep has many benefits to your health and well-being. It boosts your immune system, strengthens your heart, increases productivity, improves memory, and reduces stress. All of these benefits prevent chronic diseases and help to live a long fulfilling life. 

First, set a sleep alarm on your device. Setting an alarm when it is time to get some rest allows your brain to follow a set routine. I like to try and get to bed at the same time every night to set my body into a healthy routine. 

Second, set up a restful environment. Personally, I like to have my room cold with a fan on as well as a humidifier to help me breathe better. I also cannot sleep with any lights on. I will not get any sleep if my room is too hot because I get very irritable. Make sure to have your room environment to your likings to get comfy and ready for a good night’s sleep. 

Third, put your phone on do not disturb mode before bed to prevent being woken up by notifications. Every night, I turn on “do not disturb” so I will stop checking my phone and this allows me to disconnect and get some sleep. Before I did this, I would check my phone every time I got a notification which started to annoy me because I could not put my phone down. Such a small task but makes a huge difference. 

Fourth, do not take longer than 20–30-minute naps. A quick power nap (20-30 minutes) can help improve mood, sharpen focus, and reduce fatigue. If you nap longer than 30-minute naps, you may find yourself feeling groggier and more fatigued. Also note that naps should not replace the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep.

Fifth, make a homework schedule each week. I block off different parts of my day to complete assignments and studying and by 6pm every night, I do not look at my work. I use this time until bed to focus on myself and my well-being. I like to read, take a shower, watch a movie, etc. Doing this allows you to take care of your emotional health and well-being and prevents burn out. 

After doing these steps for myself, I have managed to balance a tricky college life due to getting enough sleep. I can focus on my assignments without feeling drained and unmotivated. I started doing this in my junior year and noticed my academic success. It may sound silly, but getting enough sleep truly goes a long way.

How To Turn Into An Optimist in Four Easy Steps

by: Fahad Alden, College of Fine, Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences Well-being Leader

Many people believe that optimism is something inherited, that as little kids, they were always cheerful and bubbly and go-getters. For me, becoming an optimist was something I had to develop through trial and error. 

At 8 years old, I would groan and complain about everything from school to going to the playground. To some extent, there was a reason  I was so miserable at that age. As a Middle Eastern boy, my heritage and culture made me an easy target. Things escalated as I got older when a group of kids taunted me for years with racial slurs. The fact that I also was horrible at sports made it harder for me to make friends with other boys my age. I was also pulled out of classes to be in special education classes, which made me an even easier target.

While these factors help to explain why I was a bitter and miserable person, they do not excuse it. Yes, I dealt with hardships, but I allowed my flaws and weaknesses to define who I was. No one wanted to be around me, because all I would do is complain. I also grew envious of kids who were more athletic or more intelligent than me, thinking that the universe dealt them better cards. 

This pathology is something no one should subscribe to. When I fixated on everything that was wrong with my life, I neglected the great things I had: loving parents, living in a safe neighborhood, and having food on my plate. 

I left this toxic mindset once I  watched a video about spirals. A spiral is when  you go into school thinking of the worst-case scenario, like before the first day of school when you think about how you will go to your classes, no one will look like you, and you will eat lunch alone.  Positive spirals are about flipping that script. An example would be “I am going to go to school and make many friends.” Another example is, “I am going to kill it this year in physics, and my parents will be proud of me.” At the beginning, this may feel inauthentic or unnatural. Andjust like learning to ride your bike, you may fall a couple of times, but it is important to get back up and keep trying. 

So how might one go about changing their mindset? The first suggestion is to start listening to empowering music, such as the work of artists like Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion, and Dababy. Their music highlights being assertive, making money, and loving yourself. When Megan raps about how she is the most fly in the room, channel that about yourself. When Nicki Minaj talks about how her lyric game is on point, and she’s the best in her game,envision yourself as the best at what you do. I began to carry myself differently when I stepped away from sad songs and switched to confident and upbeat songs.

Second, expand your reading horizons. When you’re reading a self-help book, it is like engaging in a conversation. You are hearing a story and an experience with some sprinkles of advice on top. Reading about world leaders’ or spiritual advisors’ advice will help you on your journey. Reading books from Gandhi or Oprah will make you feel like you are meeting them in real life. You will hear about their advice, their triumphs, and their failures, reminding you that life is not a linear path to success. 

Third, keep a journal so you can better track and monitor your emotions. You can also list things you are grateful for. Start small, such as writing that you are thankful for having a bed, listing one friend you cherish, and being able to have a job. While those may seem like simple things, when you realize how much privilege you have (which I learned when I volunteered at a homeless shelter), you realize how big those can actually be. 

Finally, I also recommend meditation. Go to a quiet area, preferably outside on the beach or at a park, and close your eyes. Reflect on the positive things in your life and on things you could be doing better. For example, maybe youthink about how you are lucky to have a safe and calm place to decompress or how fortunate you are to have the opportunity to continue your education, Feel all your emotions, whether they are positive or negative  Make time for yourself to feel these emotions instead of distracting yourself through work, relationships, or partying. 

Change is something, my 8 year old self would never think was possible. I went from being bullied to library trustee in my town. Even though I have made great strides I am still a work in progress.  So come on, this article can be the key that unlocks your potential.