With our reading week rolling round already (already!!?!) and deadlines looming, I’m once again reminded of the importance of time management. You’d think in my 5th year of University study, I’d have figured it’s a significant part of student life if you want to keep on top of deadlines – but what can I say?! I clearly have selective memory!
It recently occurred to me that I have two essays and a creative project due within the next seven weeks, as well as starting to consider my masters dissertation topic. While this doesn’t sound too bad, I also have to factor in weekly journals and readings for class, not to mention work. Plus, it’s nice to get out and about sometimes, so I’ve got some social plans too. I’m looking forward to becoming very close friends with coffee over these next few weeks!
So this post may not be the most exciting, but I’d like to try and help the rest of you avoid the typical pitfalls some of us seem to get trapped in, while still making the most of student life – stress free!
First of all – and it may seem obvious – know your deadlines! It’s not uncommon for people to blunder through their semester knowing they have something due in sometime but, meh, it’s “ages away”. But ages away looms sooner than you may expect. The most common facial expression on any university campus is the “I-didn’t-know-that-was-due-next-week/tomorrow!” So as simple as it may sound, know when your work’s due in!
Second – invest in a diary/planner/calendar. Nothing is more useful than having all your plans and deadlines and required readings for the week written out in front of you to see. Not only will you avoid double-booking an all important hair appointment with a coffee date, but you’ll see exactly how long you have until that big presentation – and it can help you think twice about how badly you need to drink your weight in jagerbombs the night before your exams.
Third – colour coordinate. As silly as it sounds, it’s so helpful to have things clearly marked out. Going to work? Green! Got a date? Pink! That huge, ominous deadline? RED!
Fourth (and finally!) – pace yourself wisely. Don’t try and cram everything in at the end. Personally, I need that little bit of pressure to crack on with work. However, there’s a fine line between little bit of motivational pressure and giving yourself 48 hours to write 3 essays and revise for an exam. I think it’s pretty certain that no good can come from pulling a row of all-nighters buzzed on energy drinks and pro-plus! Pacing yourself throughout the whole semester is the way to succeed. Not only will work and deadlines be evenly spaced, but it’s likely you’ll have more time to go out with your friends. And you’ll be able to totally relax and really enjoy student life, knowing you’re totally in control.