How to manage your time at University
Hi guys! Ames here!
As we move towards Christmas I know it can be less than fun. Whether you have deadlines before or after the holidays, it’s such a stressful time! Personally, all my deadlines are set after Christmas, so with that being said, I’m trying to focus on my time management and organisational skills to get a lot of it done before. (Just so I can actually enjoy my Christmas holidays, haha)!
Keeping on-top of time management is A LOT easier said than done, especially when you are at university surrounded by your best friends. It can be such a social place, so it really is hard to do uni work instead of going out with your mates. I have found that trying to concentrate in the day, and saving socialising for the evening really works for me. How I think about a university routine is basically to stay in the routine as if you were still at school. Work throughout the day, and relax in the evening. That way you have something to look forward to after putting your brain to the test throughout the day! I personally think uni is a complete learning process, and by the time 3rd year rolls around, you’ll have it down to a T! In first year I didn’t really have a boundary between socialising times and university work times. Whereas now, I have learnt what works for me and how to stay disciplined throughout 3rd year. I learnt this through trial and error, realising I wasn’t putting in enough effort to get the grades I wanted. I decided my time management needed to change when I progressed into the years that actually counted towards my degree! That’s how I ended up studying throughout the day, and having the evening to relax.
It sounds so simple and basic, but keeping a time management journal is honestly the key to staying organised. I would advise anyone and everyone at university to keep lists, notes and time schedules! I have a journal I have used ever since the start of first year. To keep it most effective, I write down the jobs or errands I need to do in order from morning to evening. If there are small tasks like washing clothes or replying to emails, I try to do that in the morning to get these out the way. Then that leaves the rest of the day to focus on the bigger tasks at hand; like your numerous essays due this term! I usually tend to start these after lunch. Of course the routine sometimes doesn’t go to plan, but it still gives you a rough idea of what you need to be doing throughout the day. I will put little tick boxes next to the tasks for me to tick off once I have completed them. This is so satisfying! Then you can look back at your list at the end of the day and give credit to yourself where it’s due.
I usually try to prepare my week in advance. I find this is a great way of staying organised. On a Sunday night I go to my journal and write out what I’m going to do each day for the next few days. So one day I will write down, ‘reading for seminars’, and ‘essay research’. Another day it will be ‘reading for seminars’, and ‘dissertation research’. There’s no point setting yourself lots of big tasks, because realistically it probably won’t be manageable and you’ll feel down on yourself. Set realistic goals, tick one off at a time and you’ll be sorted! You can’t do more than one thing at once so it’s important not to kick yourself if you don’t manage to get everything done in time 🙂 For example, if I look back at my journal towards the beginning of the year, I set myself a lot of tasks that I just didn’t tick off because I simply didn’t have time to do them! ‘Careers meeting’, ‘seminar reading’, ‘YouTube brainstorm’, ‘apply for jobs’, ‘food shop’, ‘read contextually around Gulliver’s Travels’, are a few of the things I noted down. Realistically, all of that is not going to get done in one day as well as attending university classes! Especially when it comes to me as my attention span is not that great, haha.
Don’t pressure yourself into working for long periods of time either. Time management is also about being kind to yourself! Tea and chocolate breaks are very necessary. If you have a project due, do small parts of it each day. For example, if you are taking part in Life Start’s competition to win a trip to California, an hour a night for 3 nights will be a perfect way of spreading your time evenly. That way it doesn’t take away from university work, not to mention it’s such a fun project to work on!
I hope this helped a little, the more in control of your time and work ethic, the happier you will feel!!
All the best,
Amy Banks genuinely loves sharing her experiences of being a student at the Lincoln University. Not only is she one of our Social Reporters, she also has her own YouTube Channel. If you’re into fashion or want to follow her life at uni then you might want to subscribe.