The workload and stress of university can make managing time feel like an incredibly difficult task. With uni work, part time jobs, internships and family and social commitments, it can seem near impossible to maintain a healthy balance between all these things. If this is something you struggle with, read our guide for managing time at university for some helpful tips and advice.
Make a study plan
A study plan is a super efficient way to be managing time. It allows you to lay out everything you have on and organise a schedule visually. You can use a traditional pin up planner, a smartphone calendar app or any other organisational tool, it just needs to be right for you.
First add all the tasks that cannot be altered, such as your work shifts, tutorials and lectures and due dates for assignments. Then add the “to do” tasks such as completing your readings, preparing notes and working on assignments. Finally add all those things that actually make life enjoyable, like socialising with friends, exercising and just some down time watching Netflix.
The great thing about a study plan is that it is exactly that, a plan. Life can be unexpected so it’s too complicated to stick to a rigid schedule. You’ll make managing your time much easier on yourself by planning both long term and short term.
I know this one is easier said than done but procrastination is such a detriment to managing time efficiently. But don’t worry, there are plenty of tricks you can use to help you stay on track.
Getting rid of distractions is the first step to avoiding procrastination and the biggest distraction we have is our phones. Either turn it off or leave it in another room so you’re not tempted to go scrolling in the middle of a study session.
We often procrastinate because we’re bored, so figure out the study method that works best for you. Whether that means studying in the library or at home, having music on in the background or complete silence, find what works and stick to it. This will prove more effective in managing time.
Exercise, hobbies and sleep
When managing time, it’s important not to forget about exercise and hobbies. This doesn’t mean you’ll have less time to study, in fact, exercise helps energise your body and gives you the boost you need to keep going. Much more productive than energy drinks and coffee fuelled all nighters!
Making time for your hobbies and social activities is also essential. University is important, but it shouldn’t mean you have to give up the things you love doing or stop seeing the people you care about.
Most importantly, don’t forget to sleep! When you’re swamped with assignments and exams, sleep can seem like the least important thing. But it’s actually so critical to maintain a healthy body and mind. It helps us stay alert, improves memory and is key to our mental well being.
Finally, be realistic when it comes to managing your time. Setting yourself unrealistic standards to live up to can really hurt your well being. Some tasks can take longer than others, so remember to be flexible. If you make a rigid schedule, you’ll find it stops working after just a few days! Avoid the frustration by being flexible and making changes to your plan where necessary.
If you feel overwhelmed there are also plenty of options for you to ease the burden. Perhaps underload your units at university or change your working hours. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.