During the first months in graduate school you are fresh and ready for the excitement and challenges of college life. Later on, as your commitments increase you can easily become discouraged or suffer from stress. Graduate students often complain that they have so many things to do and so little time to accomplish them. Keeping your sanity and achieving top performance requires a fine balance between competing demands. This is why a good understanding of university time management is so important. Time management and stress management for college student’s go hand in hand.
In order to be free from being burned out and drained you should do something about managing your time. That is, you should take charge of your time to ensure you make the best use of it. Becoming more productive is one of the fringe benefits of good time management. Acquiring this skill requires a little investment in your personal development. As you become more productive and efficient you naturally eliminate stress.
Here are some practical time management tips for students.
1. You will have to learn to make use of a calendar and school planner. Set aside some space to record your appointments, lists of things to do and assignments. Make use of a yearly, monthly, and weekly calendar. Your school commitments will depend on the duration of your course. Formulate a plan to cover the years ahead with a yearly calendar which will be divided into months.
2. Take time for planning and organizing. Everyday make it a point to check your calendar, take note of your future assignments and update your lists. Note your progress or any milestones that are close to being due.
3. Divide tasks and assignments into smaller parts. This allows you to concentrate on achieving small objectives and provides a record of your progress.
4. You should be able to identify your set of goals and to prioritize them. Setting deadlines helps you to work towards the bigger picture. An example of this is to breakdown a term paper and to assign milestones.
5. You must classify your tasks and lists according to priority. The total picture must be taken into account. You must decide which is the most important among your tasks and list of things to do. Which assignment is due this week? Which assignment will require extra dedication due to difficulty?
6. You must allow a degree of flexibility in your schedule. Unintended items may surface and you will need to be able to fit them in. If you create schedule that is too tight you risk compromising other objectives if you don’t have sufficient room to move.
7. Make an effort to learn and understand your study habits. Some students are more productive in the morning whilst others work better at night. Identify your biological highs and lows. You should endeavor to schedule difficult tasks for the times you are most productive and at your peak mental capacity.
8. Do not be ashamed to say no to social demands if you have important or pressing items to attend to. Your studies should be a top priority. Hopefully you will structure your schedule to provide adequate time for recreation, sporting and social events.
9. Always evaluate your time to determine area’s where time is being wasted. If you are not in a comfortable study environment you can easily become distracted if there are other activities going on.
Follow the above tips to better organize your college life. College can be very enjoyable if you are on top of your game. Hopefully the above tips will help you develop the right frame of mind to better manage your commitments.
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