When I was at St. Andrews, my professor gave me the book The Clockwork Muse, by Eviatar Zerubavel, which changed the way I thought about time management. I always had the sense that so many theories about self improvement and getting organized were off base, because they tell you to abandon everything you are doing to adhere to some new system. Inevitably, you return to your own ways after just a few weeks, and your closet floor is littered with books like “10 steps to a better you!”
What Zerubavel says is that you should observe yourself – on good days and bad, for better or worse – and figure out what YOU actually do. Do you write better in the mornings? Are you more focused in a crowded coffee shop or in a quiet nook at the library? Most importantly, when do you need down time in order to recharge for the next project? When you figure out how you work, you can structure your time to optimize your performance.
Tips from the College Board (check out #4)
Tips for students with ADHD or learning disabilities
Technologies to help you optimize your time: NY Times Blog