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Time Management


Students, whether first year or graduate, typically complain about the size of their workload and the amount of unstructured time. On the surface, these two issues appear to go together, but it takes time management skills to resolve them.

Following are some methods which you may want to try to improve your time management skills and to ensure that you get the most out of every day:

  1. Plan your schedule in advance, with as much or as little detail as you require. Be sure to schedule a specific time period for every item on your list. Total the hours a be sure that you are comfortable with the total. Make clear contracts with yourself regarding time, place, and study tasks. This will provide you with a clear sense of purpose.
  2. Make a lists of your long term goals (course requirements) on a calendar, short term goals (weekly requirements) on your schedule and daily goals (errands) on a "to do" list. This will help you to clarify and assess your goals. I will also help you to develop methods for achieving them.
  3. Try to do some work on projects or assignments the day that they are assigned. Develop a plan for finishing the project by dividing the work into parts with defined deadlines and rewards. Doing so will help to motivate you and before you know it, the work will be completed.
  4. Do your most difficult work during hours when you feel best - take advantage of the energy you have at those times to be productive. Easier tasks should be left for your less productive times of the day. This will improve your efficiency.

Here are some other tidbits that can help you manage your time and thereby manage your stress

1) Determine the value of your time, and how effectively you are using it 
2) Focus on your priorities so that you know which tasks should be done, and which ones can be dropped 
3) Plan projects carefully so that they are done properly 
4) Use the time you have more effectively 
5) Make more time to do the things you need to do 
6) Avoid distractions 
7) Increase your productivity 

This will help you to reduce stress by:

1) Helping to put things in perspective when you feel "drowned" in work 
2) Ensuring that you are in control of where you are going and what you are doing 
3) Helping you to be highly productive and secure 
4) Allowing you to enjoy what you are doing 
5) Giving you more quality time to relax and enjoy life outside work