The key to being the most productive version of ourselves is by spending time prioritizing our goals and creating plans that maximize the time that we invest in achieving these goals. That idea is pretty simple in theory, but in practice, many of us have difficulty applying it to our daily lives.

Time management is a skill that can help us change our lives if only we allow it to do so.

During any high stress period, whether it be at work, school or in my personal life, I reflect upon how there is something about the hectic environment that motivates me to do even more and be even better. Every person reacts to stressful and chaotic periods differently; some people thrive while others struggle.

However, within all of us is the potential to use stress as a means of motivation and energy to accomplish any task at hand.

When you are so busy trying to meet deadlines, there is not time to spend engaging in non-productive behaviors or habits. If you still find yourself watching Youtube videos or spending excessive periods of time on social media in the midst of your busiest week, then you may need to implement some better planning and time management skills.

Budgeting out time in advance depending on which deadlines come first is key. By deciding which days will be dedicated to certain projects or assignments, you can manage your time and find time to do other activities that you have wanted to do and that will also push personal growth, such as going to the gym, trying a new club or spending quality time with those that you love.

It is also up to you to decide who and what you give your time to. My general rule is that as soon as something starts consistently taking more than it is giving, it is time to cut it out of your life.

Another helpful way to stay motivated while working to keep going, is to make sure your playlist is upbeat and that you have a vision in your mind of why the work is important. Without having a sense of purpose to the work that you are doing, it will become 10 times harder and 10 times easier to not put forth your best effort. However, if we picture the feeling of pride, sense of accomplishment and freedom that we can achieve as a result of doing well in all of our endeavors, I find that the motivation to work hard flows easily.

Also, giving yourself healthy rewards after completing large tasks can help monumentally, as can calling a friend or family member to hear some motivational words.

I always think of my school work as something that I am putting my name to and therefore, I believe that it should represent my work ethic and true capabilities. I know in the end that every single project and assignment will add up, has something to teach me and will bring me closer to the career that I desire.

I also think that it is incredibly motivating and humbling to remind myself in times of high stress just how lucky I am to be receiving my education at all and to remind myself of my responsibility to not take it for granted and use what it gives to do more good.

Ultimately, we are given a finite number of days on Earth and it is up to us to decide how we can best use them to not only our advantage, but also to serve others. By being our best and most productive selves, we can achieve our biggest dreams and become positive influences on the world around us.

We can always do a little more, work a little harder and be a little better. It is up to us, though, to hear that truth and act upon it.