I’m not perfect. I sleep in sometimes, I go to bed much later than I should almost all the time. I rely on coffee to get me through my days pretty much every day.
I will, however, say that I have grown SO much since first year. I did the very bare minimum when I first arrived at this University, was VERY lazy and made a LOT of excuses to not do anything extra on top of my classes. And here I am now, waking up every single day with literally a thousand things to do and going to bed every night with at least 90% of those things done!
So, how should one manage time?
Set goals & prioritize!
As a student, school is my number one priority. This doesn’t mean other things aren’t important. I have part time jobs that are my second priority. Then I have student groups. I also have friends I love to socialize with. Self-care is also very important.
Know your limitations!
How many courses do you think you’ll be able to balance well? How many part time jobs do you think you’ll be able to make time for? How many student groups do you believe you’ll be able to commit to? While making sure you give yourself time to eat, drink, sleep and have time to yourself as well as time for your friends and family? If you’re unsure, test different things out, get a feel for how much time and effort they take, and then make decisions to keep or let go of things accordingly.
Schedule your classes and job(s) into your calendar. Make sure to schedule in deadlines for tests and assignments. Make sure to allocate enough time to study/do the assignment before the deadlines. Try your best to be productive during those times, and strategize–tests that weigh more require more time to study, and vice versa. Make sure you plan your weeks ahead of time. Trust me, you’ll feel like your life is 10 times more organized.
Don’t waste the “free time” you think you have.
“Time is money” or so they say. Use every bit of it as productively as possible. Only when you have no important and/or urgent tasks remaining, go ahead and kill time with Netflix or other fun things kids do these days. Trust me, I know just how tempting Netflix is, but we gotta try really really hard to have self control.
Keep a to-do list!
It sounds simple, but not many people use a to-do list because they underestimate its advantages. People tend to always forget things they need to do. Keeping a list with you, whether on a physical notepad, your computer or even your phone, enables you to write the task down as soon as you think about it or you’re told about it. Then it’s there on the list until you finish the task and check it off.
Keep a calendar!
Again, do NOT underestimate how useful this can be in terms of getting you to do things. Those reminders on your phone are stronger than you think. I religiously use Google Calendar and would be incredibly lost without it. No way would I be able to juggle three student groups, three jobs, five courses and a social life without it.
These are all my tips for now. I might have more by the end of this year, because like I said, I’m still not perfect at time management, but I’m trying to figure it out as I go.
You might have different ways of managing your time, and that is completely fine–do what works for you! This was just me sharing what works for me and hoping it helps you out in some ways as well. 🙂
P.S. The Academic Success Centre located on the second floor in the Ted Rogers School of Management has Peer Academic Coaches and Learning Strategists who can help you with time management skills, among many other things!
Check them out here: https://www.ryerson.ca/tedrogersschool/success/