UNITED STATES—Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why isn’t the day a little bit longer?” Twenty-four hours just doesn’t seem like enough time in the day to get done all the things that we want to get accomplished. What I’ve learned throughout my years as an adult is there are times where you wish you had more time to do things, and then there are other times where you wish the typical day was shorter.

Why is this might you ask? We’ve fallen guilty to the threat of time management. Yeah, it sounds like a big word and it is. Time can be spent wisely or wasteful, it depends on the person. It’s not easy to effectively manage your time, when there are a billion things on your plate. Yes, I know I’m exaggerating a bit, but you know what I mean. I’ll use myself for example. I recall being a full-time college student at a top-notch university in the country and having to juggle so many things with the least amount of time.

For starters, I was taking, like, 16-18 credits in my final year; was not recommended by advisors, but I did it anyway. I had a part-time job off campus, where I commuted back and forth for nearly a year during the weekend that was about a 90 minute drive. I had a part-time job on campus that I had to squeeze in work during classes and I had an internship that I was working on at the same time. Yep, go ahead ask me, “How did you do all that?”

The answer to this question is honestly, I don’t know. I just rolled with the punches. I knew I only had so much time each week to dedicate to the internship program so I set aside about 2 hours each day. I was working about 15-20 hours a week with my part-time gig on campus, so I arranged my hours in between classes, so that by 7 p.m. I had the rest of the day to study and work on school assignments.

Come Thursday, I was commuting back home to work my other part-time job off campus, which was about 15-20 hours.  Yep, 24 hours didn’t seem like enough time at all; I felt like sleep wasn’t even an option for me. I pulled so many all-nighters it got to a point where I couldn’t sleep at night.

So here’s my rule of thumb: know what is important. That is top priority. That thing that must be done or taken care of before everything else must be at the top of your list. After that is completed, take into consideration other things that are also important to complete and carve out time to complete those tasks. Don’t forget about sleep. A well rested individual is much better than a burnt out one. In my opinion, you gotta have at least six hours of sleep. Anything less than six for me is not a good thing at all.

Perhaps the most important tip of all is taking 3-4 hours of the day to your self. You have to have that me time which a lot of people forget about. Do something solely for you; something that allows you to have peace and to put your state of mind at rest. Failure to do this will put you in a tailspin, where you’ll slowly start to think you’re losing your mind. Nobody wants that to happen.

I personally believe this tip is adequately suited towards young adults and college students who seem to complain day in and day out about not having enough time. It’s because you’re not managing it carefully. You can’t spend 10 hours partying, 10 hours sleeping and only four hours working. Things don’t work that way, it has to be a careful balance of all things involved.

Time management isn’t about sticking to a schedule it’s about prioritizing things, what is important versus what isn’t so important right at the moment.