Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.

I started a full-time internship a few weeks ago at a kickass ad agency. It’s a lot of fun and I’m learning a lot, but there’s one major caveat: it’s unpaid. I’ll save the ethics of unpaid internships for another post, but for now, I have a side job to cushion my financial situation. I work nights and sometimes Saturdays to be able to pay my share of the bills. Since it’s only part-time, I’ll be living paycheck to paycheck for a while. Thankfully, I have a good bit savings put away from when I was working full-time, and with my side job now, I shouldn’t have to dip into it anytime soon.

My days are long. They don’t leave a lot of room for much else when I’m done. I leave for the agency in the morning, head straight to work afterwards, go home to do chores and maybe chill for a bit, and then it’s bedtime. But honestly, it hasn’t been that taxing. I’ve been managing my time well, and I haven’t deviated much from my schedule. And since I’m so busy, the week goes by fast and next thing I know, it’s the weekend.

Here are a few tips about time management I’ve been following since I started my gig. I hope this helps some of you, whether you have two jobs, school and work, or something else entirely.

Schedule Everything

And I mean EVERYTHING: bedtime, wake up time, breakfast, dishwashing, laundry, what time you leave the house, down to when you should shower. Make a timetable and stick to it. Do leave some room for relaxation to keep you sane and get you through the week. If you stick to your schedule, you should have no problem chilling once you have the time (on your schedule!).

Stay on Top of Your Work Schedule

Have your schedule locked down at least 2 weeks prior. Some employers (especially retail) don’t always post schedules until the next day so it can be difficult. Make sure your employers know about your situation and availability to at least keep your schedule predictable.

Communicate with Your Employers

Sometimes you’ll have work conflicts. Inform your employers as soon as possible if they have you on beyond your availability. Not only does it save headaches for everyone, it’s the professional thing to do. Never be a no-show!

Cook in Batches on Your Off-Time

Pork curry Giniling

I used to have the luxury of eating out on my work days when I’m too lazy to cook. Not anymore. Cooking at home saves you money and it’s good for you too, provided you cook healthy things, of course. I like to cook Filipino dishes myself.

My work days are simply too long to have time for cooking, so I make large batches of rice and two or three dishes in one evening and then store it away in my fridge for the week. I pack it before I leave for work and heat a plate up once I get home. Saves me a lot of stress and labor when I’m already so busy.

Keep Bill Reminders on Your Phone

When you’re busy, time flies by fast and it’s easy to go on “autopilot.” Oftentimes I forget what the date is, and next thing I know, my bills are almost overdue! Keep important reminders on your phone or some other device so you’d never have to worry about missing deadlines. Make them go off everyday until you’ve done them. It might seem annoying, but you don’t want to be slapped with late fees.

Don’t Forget Your Friends and Family

I’m not very social to begin with, so it’s already a bit difficult for me to stay in touch with people. But you should never forget your friends and family! Let them know about your new schedule and how busy you’ll be to keep them on the same page, but also make some time to leave them a message. You may not be able to go out with them as much anymore, but a little hi will let them know they’re still in your thoughts.

Take Care of Yourself

I know it’s not easy. You’re tired all the time. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself so you don’t burn out as quickly. Try to get a full night’s rest when you can. Make time for it (see: Schedule Everything). Eat well too and eat healthily. Take a multivitamin even to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. Make time to relax to keep you mentally well too.

Don’t feel like you have to give up food, sleep, or things you love to prove yourself. Your body can only take so much, and there’s no shame in that. You’re juggling multiple things. You’re already doing well. :)

Do you have any time management tips? I’d love to hear them! I’m always open to other people’s advice and perspective.


  1. Those are some good tips, yo! I think I need a way to actually stick to my schedule. I make one and never follow it v_v.

    And that bill reminder is smart and so true. It also saves time because you’re not having to constantly recheck your emails or accounts to make sure you’ve paid something already. I guess you could always do auto-pay, which I have for some things, but it’s harder to keep track of money that way, I guess.
    Eirene recently posted…(Cooking) Turkey is TiringMy Profile

  2. Great tips. I particularly like the one about preparing meals in advanced. I never think about how long we spend preparing and cooking food on weekdays. This technique could help save some of that time.
    Holly recently posted…The Weekend BlogMy Profile

  3. This is a very useful list! Thank you so much for sharing it! Ever since, I got full time job with barely any time to really take care of myself, I’ve been eating out/ordering delivery food so much that I’ve gained quite some weight – it’s horrible. After reading this, I think I can make some of these changes!

    And also, I think unpaid internships is just a load of bull. Interns should get paid for the amount of work they put into companies they work for. I get that it can be seen as a win-win scenario, but there’s one side winning a lot more. Ugh. You should make a post about this as I am sure we sort of see eye to eye!

    And I do hope this internship brings you much success!
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  4. Good tips. I never make an actual timetable, though, because I go with the flow. Instead, I just use a to-do app that reminds me of all my major projects that’s coming up. All the little stuff I do daily, I’ve got it all in my head, so I’m good about doing all that without the reminders.

    One thing I do is to tackle giant projects little by little every day. During grad school, that’s how I tackled my assignments and projects, and that helps. I’ve even brought that technique into my workplace (ie: redecorate the walls in my room) and doing bit by bit every day instead of trying to accomplish it all in one day. That really helps.

    Anyway, your schedule seems very packed! I’m glad you got your schedule sorted out to where you won’t go completely nutters! Keep it up!
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  5. Congratulations on the internship! I’m glad to hear that you like it so far :D. It’s amazing how you can balance your workload and add in that night job. Hopefully you’ll be able to save more as time goes by~

    Your time management skills are on par! I follow the same time management ethics and it helps me a lot!… Until I get really really lazy/tired. Cooking at home definitely saves you money and gives you +1 cooking skills each time! I love making homemade food and it’s a lot healthier unless you use the same exact ingredients as the fast food places.

    The only tip I have is to not push yourself too hard or else you will crash and burn. That’s like your tip about taking care of yourself. I usually keep my major to-do list in my physical planner.

  6. Congratulations Raisa! I hope your enjoying it :)

    Some great advice, I do the same with preparing meals, make big batches and freeze them up :)

    Do you just use a diary for writing your schedule? Or do you use any apps for this? Would be interesting to know :)

    1. Thanks Emma! It takes a toll on me sometimes but I’m hanging on. :D

      My hours are the same so I’ve memorized my schedule. I’ve never been one to keep a planner. I just have my bill reminders.

  7. Great Post, I agree with you.
    To be simple I can say this: the more you stay away from unnecessary habits ( Alcohol, smoking… things that your body can live without) the more you are about to stay in good health, the same thing for your time, people are saying there is no time…there is no time, well if you stay away from daily long movies, spending time on the internet on useless stuff…then you will find time for everything.

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