A couple tips:
1. Meals and meal planning. It's easy to burn a lot of time each day just cooking and eating. Meal prepping (or at least preparing large enough portions to last you multiple meals) is a huge time saver.
2. Make a daily and weekly list of what you NEED to get accomplished. Obviously, there's only so much you can accomplish daily. Decide what needs to be done today and use whatever free time you have to work on the longer term goals once you get through the daily list. Often, chipping away at the weekly (or longer term) list pays dividends later on. If you're studying 20 minutes or so a week out from a big test, you'll find you don't need multiple hours the night before.
3. Be good with down time. Find ways to be efficient with those awkward blocks of time in your schedule that often turn into browsing reddit or zoning out.
4. Find ways to do something you enjoy while working on the things you don't want to do.. If you like a podcast, listen to it while you do the dishes or fold your laundry.
5. Plan time for you. If you just grind all day everyday you can easily burn yourself out. Find time to do the things you enjoy, just moderate it. For example, if you're a gamer, limit yourself to a reasonable amount of time. Watch an episode or two of your show, but don't binge. Check Reddit while you're on the shitter instead of dedicating large chunks of time. Moderation, not elimination, is key.
In the morning, do the things that piss you off. In the afternoon, do the things that are no big deal. At night, do the things that make you happy. Then get some fucking sleep.
Edit: Wow this got popular! Keep kicking ass everyone!
Find reasons to do it now, not reasons to do it later. You will be surprised at how much you can do in not too much time. The left over time is great.
Plan your days by prioritising the most important things you want to get done and allotting a sensible amount of time to do them.
Splitting your days into manageable chunks makes achieving what you want feel more feasible. With regard to studying/chores it can keep you more focused having an allotted time to do them and can help avoid procrastination.
I also find making lists of things to be done helps with the focus aspect and also gives a satisfying feeling when you can cross that activity off the list.
It's about being realistic with how long things take.
Example: I'm going for a one hour run. That's 15 minutes to get dressed and find all my stuff and get out the door, then an hour to run, and 20ish minutes to stretch and cool down after.
If you don't account for all the extra bits of time you quickly end up over scheduling and not "having time" to do things you'd planned to.
Don't let yourself veg out until you've accomplished what you need/want to that day.
stay the fuck off of reddit, probably
Get off the internet. Huge time waster.
Make sure you get enough sleep, it makes organizing the rest of your life so much easier.
It's not that bad once you cut out all the dead time, which is mostly fucking around on the internet and mindlessly watching tv. Also, you can combine "seeing friends" with "studying" and "gym." Aim to go out just on the weekends and study, go to the gym, cook, clean, etc. during the week.
I used to be that way, though now I have less demands on my time than ever and cannot find a spare moment seemingly.
I think the secret is maybe to just have lots of demands on your time, so you have motivation to finish one thing so you can move on to the next, then when your day is done you're ready for bed.
Now I need hooours to gather the motivation to leave the house because I can (or at least justify) take that much time, and days just slip away.
Don't be a grad student.
1. Don't be afraid to spend a proportionately larger portion of one day on studying/reading/whatever it is you have to do. It's almost 1 am on Wednesday as I write this, and I've read and responded to articles for three separate courses today.
2. Look at the gym as a job. Unless you're injured or sick, you go. Block out whatever amount of time that is.
3. With regard to social life. Accept that you'll have one day a week where you don't really accomplish all that much. That's fine, usually I use Friday or Saturday as those days. Don't be afraid to not be busy.
4. When you do something, minimize distraction. Reading an article/book? Don't fuck around on the internet while doing it. Writing a paper? Same thing goes. At the gym? Focus on your workout and stay **OFF** of social media.
5. Look at the weekends as work days. Don't wake up at 1, lie in bed until you get up at 4, and then complain to me that you have no time.
In my experience, the people who claim to have "no time" are really awful at #4. Sure, you "studied" for five hours, but you really screwed around on the internet for three hours, made small talk for another, and only looked at the material for one.
1) I think this job self selects for people who can function on 5-6 hours of sleep (that includes myself) so this give me an extra 2-3 hours per day
2) Be social when you can. I'm going to need to eat 3 meals a day, might as well eat dinner with family and friends.
3) Automate as much as you can. Bills, loan payments, Hue lights, nest, etc. All of these things are set up so that I don't have to use the mental energy to worry when XXX is due.
4) Don't leave work for later. I learned this the hard way. It takes less time to get shit done right the first time. Good example of this is don't just throw your dirty clothes around the room, put them in the hamper.
5) When I actually need to get some serious work done, Over the ear headphones + Spotify + turn off phone + get the fuck off Reddit.
6) If you need to nap, learn how to take power naps. The key is to fall asleep quickly otherwise you will get "rested" but not feel sleepy anymore. Tips include dark room, cold AC, rubbing one out right before and limiting to 30-45 minutes to avoid sleep inertia.
**EDIT**: Since some high horse people have started to respond to this post
a) I'm not kidding. 66% of all medical students and residents report sleeping 6 hours or less. Errors and personality issues were found in those with <5 hours of sleep, [but those with 6 hours of sleep were considered to have normal function](https://books.google.com/books?id=SL1cZnU4OhIC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&dq=sleep+deprivation+affects+motor+skills+more+than+decision+making&source=bl&ots=ewMnI1KL0v&sig=jSStj_2Mb37SJm-WKIj4ScoiP_g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiPoseRk7TWAhWEEpQKHQF8CRIQ6AEIZjAJ#v=onepage&q=sleep%20deprivation%20affects%20motor%20skills%20more%20than%20decision%20making&f=false)
b) In some studies chronic partial sleep (6 hours of sleep) did not show any cognitive differences in medical residents