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  • Emily Louie

MAximize your time: Start your success story in 5 minutes

The Law of Scarcity states that if a limited supply of a good coupled with a high demand for it, the perception of its value significantly increases.

With this theory in mind, you may think that time is only valuable and not necessarily a scarce resource because it seems to be an infinite supply. But what if I tell you that time is the scarcest resource and the most undervalued currency in many organizations? In many situations, people tend to be much more careful and aware of how they allocate their money versus how they spend their time. Little do they realize that they can never earn back each second that passes by.

In the next five minutes, I want to share how I balanced seven college classes, a part-time job, and extracurricular activities as a Synergy Committee representative, a Marketing Consultant, and a commuter from San Francisco to San Jose. More importantly, I want to share strategies to help you maximize your time in a 24-hour day and use time as your strongest weapon to create a master plan for success:

1. Trick your mind while creating a to-do list

Spend the first five minutes of Sunday to plan for the upcoming week. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and comb through your Canvas to-do list, work schedule, and club events calendar for the week. Then, take a Post-it note and write down all the assignment due dates and your schedule for the upcoming week, including the date of an important presentation that is within the month to give yourself a constant reminder. Sounds ordinary, right? Here’s the trick if you are a procrastinator like me: write the due dates one day ahead to add a cushion for emergencies and to build a habit of finishing tasks early.

2. Use wait times efficiently

Perhaps you’re waiting in the DMV line to have your license renewed with 20 people ahead of you. Instead of surfing the internet, you can maximize your productivity throughout the day by bringing study materials with you or polishing small details on an essay. By shaving off small amounts of time to complete each task, you may find yourself with more hours to spare by the end of the day.

3. Say no

Learning to say, “no” to both nonessential and essential tasks was one of the most important lessons I learned throughout college. By setting boundaries and limiting your availability, you are also limiting your stress level to tasks that you have already prioritized. In addition, your time becomes more valuable to others, as stated by the Law of Scarcity.

Remember that time is a scarce resource that you’ll never earn back. By allocating time wisely and filling up small time gaps, you can save more free time at the end of day. As you go through day-to-day tasks, remember to also take time for yourself and rest when you need to.


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