Effective Time Management Strategies for Graduate Students

For students, time seems to fall short in life. They have to rush to attend the lectures, compromise on their rest time to prepare notes, and stay awake in the night to complete their projects. In simpler words, students are always in a race against time.

While students are juggling their life and studies, they have to take out time for their social life that includes their family, and friends. For students, it is a struggle to keep a balance between the different aspects of their life.

To make life easier for the graduate students, we bring here some useful tips that can help them do more in less time. Here they are:

1. Plan, Plan, and Plan

Planning is the best way you can have more control over your time. It helps you foresee things and schedule your time accordingly.

Let’s say you have semesters in the coming month which clashes with a big event in your family. At this stage, you can set your dates to studies, and the other commitments you are likely to engage during the event. In other words, a plan can save you from panicking at the last minute.

Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

To keep tabs on your future commitments, you need to set a yearly calendar that includes your entire future engagements so that you know the upcoming events and organize your tasks accordingly.

2. Set Your Priorities

A good time management strategy begins with setting your priorities. It is about giving importance to tasks that demand your immediate attention. As a student, it will include your classes, assignments, health, family, and friends.

In other words, anything in your life that related to education, health and support system should make it top in your priority list. Now you have to divide your time between these four core areas of life and let the other things wait.

3. Make a To-Do List

To-do list is just an extension of prioritizing task. It includes the micro-tasks that you need to accomplish on daily basis in order to achieve your set goals. This will include your entire day-to-day tasks and errands. For example, you can include the groceries that you need to buy on daily basis, the laundry that you have to collect before leaving for the institute or the clothing stuff that you must iron before you hit the sack.

With a to-do list, you can do all these essential things in a timely manner.

4. Divide Big Tasks Into Small Tasks

Often, we occupy our minds with so many big tasks that we end up doing nothing. For a time-efficient person, the right approach is to divide big tasks into small tasks that can be easily managed. For example, if you want to complete the academic project assigned to you during semesters, you can start it by first breaking it down into different parts, such as planning, research, drafting, and editing.

Breaking big tasks into small tasks help you manage your study time more efficiently and you get more control over your life.

5. Don’t Take Up Additional Responsibilities

Often, we tend to take up extra work of others which add to the burden of responsibilities. While it is okay to help your besties in their bad time, you should not extend your help for every tome, dick, and harry as it will only affect your studies and you will struggle with getting more time.

So make a habit of saying “no” so that you don’t have to compromise on the quality time that you want to give your studies.

6. Don’t Procrastinate

Procrastination kills the time and makes you a laid-back person. Instead of delaying something just because you are not in the mood, you should motivate yourself to that work by setting some incentives. It could be a glass of smoothie or a roasted turkey that you can treat yourself once you complete the task. These little incentives will be a good counter mechanism to overcome procrastination.

This article was written with Anna Marsh,  an Academic Consultant and Educator on essay writing and research.