Have you thought about how you're going to manage your time yet this year? No? Obviously, the panic of midterms on top of term papers on top of relationship crisis hasn't hit yet!
Generally speaking, it usually takes until mid-October before most students start losing their minds from stress. Want to learn some techniques for balancing your time to effectively reduce the amount of stress in your life? Read on for some suggestions that might come in handy when exam stress, on top of the stress of everyday life, comes down on you. If you start practicing some of these techniques now, you may be able to avoid or at least reduce the amount of stress you experience during those peak busy periods.
There are several things you can do to keep yourself organized and on top of assignments, exams, and papers, not to mention your very busy social life! Here are a few tips for surviving the academic year with your sanity intact - start using them now, and your chances of successfully balancing your time throughout the year will be much improved!
Use a daytimer to keep track of your life. Write down everything you don't want to risk forgetting, from assignments to important deadlines to social events. And remember to take your daytimer with you every day, so that you can check it before you commit to anything.
Write out a "To Do" list - every day, and especially during really busy periods. This will help you focus on the tasks at hand. Also, give everything a priority and be selective . Ask yourself what will happen if you don't do something, and if the answer is "nothing", don't do it!
Learn to take power naps when you need them - even 20 minutes can be enough time to allow you to recharge. As a suggestion, though, if you're going to grab a few winks in a public place like maybe SUB or CAB, or the couches in the library, try not to drool! It's really revolting to watch someone wake up and wipe the saliva from whatever they've been lying on!
Use all of your time to the fullest - study on the bus or between classes. Small chunks of time can add up to big chunks if you make use of them, and may give you some time later to relax for longer periods. Focus on one thing at a time.
Take some time for yourself everyday. People who don't take time for them generally burn out a lot faster, whereas people who do take time for themselves are generally a lot more productive! It pays off to be selfish sometimes and just do nothing for awhile. Try taking a walk in the evening, or listening to your favorite music, or reading your favorite book or whatever it is you like to do to let go of your day and relax.
Also, avoid over-committing yourself by learning to say "No" when you've already got too much on your plate. It's better to risk disappointing someone now than with a last minute cancellation or no-show.
Finally, know when your peak times are throughout the day and plan to do your highest priority, most energy-requiring tasks at these times. Plan for some breaks to rejuvenate during your lower-energy times.
Taking control of your time and practicing techniques for managing it well can and will put more time into your day. By starting to use time management now, you may be able to avoid academic or personal disaster in the busy months to come.