Managing Your Time
As a full-time graduate student, a full-time worker, and a full-time family member, you don't have much spare time to manage, so it's important to manage it wisely.
First, you need to figure out just how much time you have available. Use a few of those precious minutes to fill out a weekly schedule.
Once you have a realistic idea of how much time you have available and where in the day/week that time occurs, consider whether any of these basic time management tips can help you put your time to better use.
- Manage yourself rather than your time
- Eat well, sleep well, exercise regularly
- Clean up your working space so that you know where everything is
- Turn off your cell phone, tv, email
- Learn to say no
- Don't wait for the right mood, the right time: get started
- Find what it is that you enjoy in every task
- Accept the fact that you (and your work) don't have to be perfect
- Ask for help
- Know your biorhythms: do the hard stuff when you're at your best, the easy stuff when you're not
- Reward yourself when you've completed a task
- Post your to-do lists/schedule prominently
- Get over failures; don't waste time worrying
- Use the time you have wisely
- Work in manageable chunks: know how long you can work without getting bored or distracted
- Use small blocks of time (riding public transportation, breaks at work, etc.): they add up
- Prioritize: start on the task with the highest value
- Schedule time for the unexpected
- Clarify assignments: it's a real waste of time to work hard at the wrong task
- Review your reading before class; review your notes within 24 hours after class
- Raise your consciousness: know what kinds of unproductive activity you tend to engage in and stop when you see yourself doing it
- Don't underestimate the time and/or the difficulty of a task, but don't overestimate it either
Visit the UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO ONLINE COUNSELING CENTER for more useful advice on time management.