Managing your time allows you to organise your work and leisure much better. This will help you both personally and academically, and reduce your stress.
Using a to-do list and calendar helps you break down your tasks and visualise the time slots needed to pursue them. Paper copy and electronic calendars have their own advantages and disadvantages. Which ones suit you best?
Unless you have a brilliant memory, use reminders to prompt you about:
You probably already use apps on your phone or tablet, and link notifications to your calendar, for instance through Google Calendar™ or Outlook.com®. If not, try an electronic calendar and see if it helps. Be creative and include musical reminders or pictures, if that helps you to do the right task at the right time!
Prioritising your tasks over a period of time reduces feelings of stress, and helps you take a step-by-step approach to academic work. Identify your most important tasks and tackle them first. You could also try attempting more difficult, less enjoyable tasks early on, so you can cross them off your list and stop them from hanging over you.
Knowing that you have to write a 2,500-word essay may initially seem scary, especially before the start of the writing process. To simplify your work, plan to write a particular amount of words per day. For example, you could set a target of 300 words per day. Breaking down your work into chunks makes it so much easier to handle.
You can arrange to meet your tutor to help you prioritise your work. Personal tutors have probably been in your position when they were students, so their advice could make a significant difference. Also, talk to your friends about how they manage their time – everyone has their own method.
Go for a walk or a run to defocus your mind from all distractions and concerns. If possible, get out to a park or a garden. This can contribute to maintaining good mental health. After a walk, you may be surprised by the fresh ideas and energy that you have.
Many aspects of time management are actually about developing good habits. Try the following approach. What gets in the way? Work out what’s getting in the way of good habits eg, procrastination, the lure of social media, fear of failure, inability to concentrate. Conscious improvement. Work on study routines. If you keep practising, good habits will become automatic, so you don’t even think about them. For example:
University of Birmingham. Library Services Academic Skills Gateway. Managing your time effectively. Available at: https://libguides.bham.ac.uk/asg/learning (Accessed: 1 April 2020).
You’ll find some excellent sources of information on the University’s Academic Skills Gateway. http://libguides.bham.ac.uk/asg/home
It is definitely worth exploring.