In my third year at university, starting in September, I will have quite a lot on my plate. I’m hoping this blog post will serve as a guide to others as well as a note to myself to remember how to manage my time next year!
So, from September I will be: treasurer of the History Society, communications officer of DUWFC, level 3 History class rep, (hopefully) a student blogger, and a History Ambassador. I’m also looking for a part time job as well as squeezing in my academic work, and possibly volunteering in the university archives. Hopefully you can see why I’ve forced myself to make this reminder to myself!
A good first step when you know you’ve got a busy week or month etc. ahead is to make sure your calendar is up to date with any meetings and events and make a master to do list of things you need to get done that week or month alongside the calendar. This way, you can see when you have time to actually fit in the to do list actions around what you already have planned. For example, you might have something due on Friday morning, but you’re going to the cinema on Thursday night, so you need to make sure you have that assignment done by Thursday afternoon.
Depending on how obsessed you are with planning (you might be able to tell I am), you could fill in a mini weekly calendar with time slots of when you will get little actions done. For example, if I went to a History Society meeting and was told I need to get something done by Wednesday at 12pm, I’d make sure to slot that action into my weekly calendar before Wednesday 12pm. However, you don’t have to put a specific time frame on every little action, so sometimes it’s just as useful to have a to do list of things you have to get done by the end of the day, for example, and you get those things done as and when you can.
My next tip would be to try and fit all your ‘work’ i.e. academic stuff, meetings, basically anything that isn’t ‘fun’, into a 9-5 or 10-6 timeframe. This way, you’ll always have your evenings free to relax, and you should be able to take weekends off either to relax, pick up any loose ends, or have a part time job. This might not always work out quite how you want it to so it’s important to be flexible, however if you stick as close to this as you can, you should be able to figure out a healthy work schedule.
It’s important to give yourself a break sometimes so make sure to schedule mini breaks, don’t work over lunch or dinner, and if things are getting on top of you, make sure to tell people and give yourself a rest for a little while! It’s okay to admit you can’t quite keep on top of everything all of the time. Good luck!