After the first month of term, you may need to re-evaluate your time management skills and organize your days. Give yourself the best chance of staying on track and organized during the term, which in turn can help reduce stress levels and ease anxiety when midterms, assignment due dates and exams come around.
Here are some of #YUBlog’s top time management tips!
Make a Calendar
Write down your commitments and due dates to help you stay on track, regardless of whether you use an agenda, your cellphone or a wall calendar! You may also prefer to keep a physical record of your to-do list—it can make scheduling your appointments and remembering your obligations so much easier. It can also help you to study in blocks and devote time to different subjects.
Need more tips for scheduling your time? Check out some of the options below:
- Combine daily to-do lists, weekly agendas and year-long calendars to keep both your short- and long-term goals in mind.
- Set up a calendar on your phone or computer and stick to it.
- Factor in extra time in case anything takes longer than expected.
- Find free time management templates and more helpful tips and tricks on the Learning Skills Services website.
Set Goals and Priorities
Once you get all of your course outlines, add them to your personal calendar! With these due dates and readings in sight, you can set goals to complete your assignments and prioritize your tasks. Not only that, you can list absolutely everything that you have to do including appointments, work shifts and more! Now that you know your schedule, take note of how much time each commitment will take out of your schedule and where you may have time to accomplish your goals.
When you set goals and stay on track, you tend to have more time for readings, assignments and studying—all of which can help ease your stress levels. Plus, if you keep up to date on your calendar, you can avoid the dreaded all-nighter the night before your final and risking the quality of your work (and your overall grade)!
Make Sure Health and Wellness are Top of Mind
Hard work is important for academic success, but your physical and mental health matters, too! Remember: you should always look after your health before everything else. Even during your busiest times, it is important to find ways to stay balanced and healthy. It can be very rewarding to just slow down, take a deep breath, give yourself a break and enjoy being at University. Now that you’ve created this amazing, organized personal schedule, you have lots of time ahead of you—you don’t have to figure everything out right away!
Studying all day and all night every day is unsustainable and ineffective. Excellent time management includes a good night’s rest, exercise and time off to have fun with your friends. A good night’s sleep is essential to make sure your body and mind is rested and fresh for the next day. Managing your time better includes creating a sleep schedule!
Believe it or not, exercise works in the same way sleep does. It can focus your state of mind, helping you to clear your head and boost your brain power in between study sessions. If you’re new to exercise, aim to fit in a 10-minute run here and there, steadily increasing the amount you do as you go on. You can also joining a drop-in fitness class at the Tait McKenzie Centre or joining an intramural team with your friends!
The key to successful time management is to understand exactly what it means to “manage” your time. It sounds like a simple concept, but it isn’t. There are so many distractions at your fingertips, and it is becoming harder for students to master this art—don’t get down on yourself if you can’t get it right away. By taking the time to organize your schedule and factor in the tips listed above, you’re already several steps ahead of where you were when you started. Now go conquer this Winter term, Lions!