Time Management Skills
At the end of the day, time management is going to be one of the chief challenges you face and one of the most valuable skills you develop throughout your post-secondary education. Though university and college is not the first time we’ve had to deal with time restraints, the increased focus on independent study and, for many students, the presence of a part-time job completely redefines how we appreciate and organize our schedules.
A common joke you’ll hear in your post-secondary education is: “good grades, proper sleep, a social life: choose two.” This isn’t far from the truth! Though you are more than capable of doing all three, as well as hobbies, extra-curricular activities and jobs, many students are shocked by the time requirements called for in both university and college.
For many this is made even more difficult by going away for school. For the first time you are solely responsible for getting up in the morning, organizing your meals and ensuring that you are capable of staying on top of your workload. It can be hard but it is possible! Developing your time management requires the growth of your individual organizational and prioritizing abilities, as well as sometimes forcing adjustments to certain study habits which may not function as well as they can or should.
By the end of your degree I promise you’ll be laughing at your younger self, running around and stressing about first-year worries. Until then, let me try and give you some tips to help effectively organize your time:
i) Design a class schedule around your own sleep pattern. Some of us are night owls, some are early birds. If you are like me and struggle to wake up for early classes, let alone study during that period, don’t be afraid to try and sign up for those 10:00 classes rather than the 8:30 ones.
ii) Breaks are important. Some will make the argument that it is better to work through everything and, if it works for you, great. If not, accept well-deserved breaks as they come to you. If possible, do something that takes you out of the library or your room – a walk around the block? A jog? If not, try and do something with a clear start and finish. Watch an episode of a television show with the clear 21-minute end and don’t get lost on the internet only to look at the clock again two hours later.
iii) Sleep is essential! Some cope with the time restraints by cutting back on their sleep schedules and for many we can afford to do this while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Be careful, though, as it can be a slippery slope. Sometimes it’s better to sleep that extra hour than stare listlessly at the computer all morning trying to wake yourself up.
Just make sure to be careful with your time and make the most of it. In the end you’ll be able to handle your time constraints with no problem!