As September begins, it means a new year of university is about to start. For some, that means a new chapter of their life begins and they are ever so slightly naïve about what is going to happen to them over the course of their 3 years. For others, it’s a mix of fear and joy. Joy in the sense they get to see all their course mates again, but fear of the overwhelming sense of project deadlines. Managing multiple things at once can be a difficult task for university students. You’re expected to not only prepare for lectures, but also to be simultaneously planning or completing projects, taking part in society activities and gaining work experience in your chosen subject area. With all of that said, here are 5 effective time management tips that hopefully will help you out!
1. Plans. Plans always help.
My first and biggest piece of advice to any university student would be to plan their days. This includes when they might be wanting to go for a night out (either that be at the library or for a drinking sesh.) Planning what you need to do on a daily basis will help you to see what needs to be done by what time with your assignments. It allows you to figure out what you’re going to need for your uni work and how to start cracking down. Planning coincides with prioritising.
2. Prioritise everything.
After you’ve written your plan for the day (or week….or month) you can see which piece of uni work is due first. This way you know that you’ll need to get out textbooks on audio engineering before your television piece is due. When prioritising, make sure to take into account these two things: when is the assignment due and how much work is required to get this assignment done. So in other words, when you know the due date, work backwards depending on how much work you have for that project because that will tell you how much time it will take for you to complete and submit it.
3. This brings me onto lists.
As you can tell, I am a fan of listing things. Lists are a great tool to have around as they help you to see clearly what you have to do so you can plan your time effectively. Lists don’t have to be boring. To make it better for yourself, you could colour- code or highlight different things to do. Making these lists not only helps to see what you need to do, but they can also be a great stress reliever because you’re able to lay everything out and then physically cross through and get rid of each item step by step. Lists enable you to get a sense of accomplishment during your uni assignments too.
4. Time itself.
I know this article is supposed to be about tips for managing your time effectively, but having time to yourself during the height of assignment weeks is an important part in time management. This enables you to recharge your batteries so you’re ready to plan your week again. Not only taking time to yourself between assignments, but also taking regular breaks from completing said uni tasks helps you to focus and stick to your plans. Without taking breaks, it is extremely easy to become bored, tired and start procrastinating. And when this happens it makes it even harder to return to the task you were doing before the procrastination happened because then you will associate that uni task with boredom.
5. Mobile phone technology.
Seeing as we’re living in the 21st century, I’m going to assume that you’ve all got a phone or tablet of some kind. These can be useful for time management tips in two ways: first, you could use it to time yourself, and second, you can even turn off its notifications to prevent distraction whilst you’re working away at your planned list of activities. When timing yourself, you can set alarms for different activities. For example, you could work on one project for an hour then swap to a different activity. This can also help to prevent you from getting bored and start the vicious cycle of procrastination, similarly with the subtraction of phone notifications; they won’t tempt you to check the pop up and suck you into just having a quick check of some social media sites before realising you’ve wasted 3 hours.