Time Management: a topic that students from every form of study hear about; from orientation week until the end of our degrees, we are pushed to create schedules and abide by them so as to receive the best possible results throughout our time in university and beyond. Many of us heed these suggestions to manage time, while some choose to put time management aside to pursue a more leisurely journey through their learning experience.
What I have come to realize from my time spent pursuing degrees, is that time management requires a balance; a kind of Ying and Yang where you can’t have one without the other; time needs to be divided evenly between school and personal time and if one over powers the other I find from experience that a conflict between the two can be created. It is because of this potential for conflict that I have devised a list of what I believe are essential time management suggestions that I myself have implemented and contemplated throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
My suggestions for time management:
1. Know yourself
I know it sounds strange to suggest to get to know yourself, hey you have to live with yourself every day. But, what I am actually suggesting is to realize what personality type you are and base your schedule around that. If for example you realize you’re a hard working diligent individual who likes to get assignments and readings over with earlier then do that, and reward yourself with a well-deserved break whether that be hanging with friends, going to the beach etc… On the other hand if you know deep down that your personality is a procrastinating type, (you know who you are!). Perhaps a good method for you is to chip away at small bits of manageable amounts of work, so when the last minute does come to finish that assignment you’re not completely overwhelmed by the quantity of work and lack of time remaining.
2. Set realistic time frames
If you have 90 pages of a textbook to read, try to avoid reading and absorbing it in one go, I mean for some people that might work (cramming experts), but for a large majority who find themselves in a comatose state after reading page after page of dull text, sadly to say it’s likely that nothing is getting absorbed, it’s most likely the case that the text you just read is in your mind for the day and out of it the next like “gas in the wind”. It’s important to set realistic time frames for studying as professors suggest throughout our degrees (for example 1-2 hours of study per day). It’s also important set realistic time frames for your personal time (For example Saturday and Sundays is 100% fun time for you to have a bit of a release from your week of studying hard).
3. Realize that time is precious
Unlike any commodity that exists, time can never be renewed. Once that moment is gone it’s gone. I know, I know cliché statements, it probably sounds like I ripped it from a movie. But, as I have gotten older (I am not super old, but old enough) I realized that time if not spent wisely is wasted. Wisely doesn’t necessarily mean spending all your time with your head in a book. But, it could be going to a movie, trying something you never done before, meeting the person who completes you. All of this and our time at school are things that we need to cherish. And it is for that reason just like the Ying and Yang we have to find a balance in our time management between school and life outside of studying.
Need extra study tips? Check out Erika’s 4 study tips to help you through the semester.