Managing Your Time

Balancing academics and extracurricular activities can be difficult, particularly when you find yourself in an unfamiliar environment. With only twenty-four hours in a day, it is important to organize your time. Managing your time efficiently will help you to achieve your academic goals, while also making the most out of all the new experiences you will encounter in the United States. Moreover, time management is an important skill that will carry you through life.

Successful Time Management Tips

  1. See the “big picture”: Keep a calendar of important events for the semester, so that you can plan ahead. Don’t forget to look beyond academics and see what else is going on in your community. You will learn just as much outside of the classroom as you do inside the classroom.
  2. Make a “to-do” list: Write down everything you want to do that day. This will help you stay aware of what needs to be done. Setting these smaller goals helps you to achieve success in a manageable fashion and will help to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Create a realistic timetable: When faced with an assignment, create a plan for accomplishing it and use your timetable to designate the amount of time that you will need to do a great job on your work. Prioritizing you work is an excellent way to make sure that you finish everything by the deadline (or even before).
  4. Know when you work best: Find an environment that suits your study habits best. Remember to plan out your time accordingly so that you will have ample time to study when you are at your most productive.
  5.  Resist the urge to “multi-task”: While multi-tasking may seem like the perfect way to accomplish your work quickly, this not the case. Instead, you may find yourself distracted and not producing your best work.
  6. Don’t procrastinate: You will feel better and produce excellent work if you do not leave assignments to the last minute.
  7. Practice healthy lifestyle habits: Think of food as fuel for your mind. Sleep and exercise are also very important – a healthy mind and body is an important ingredient for success.
  8. Stay balanced: By balancing your studies with other activi­ties, you will be happier, healthier, and more productive!  Reward yourself for all of the hard work you have done – you deserve it!
Tree Diagram Template

Maybe you would like to design your own time management tree, use the roots as the “to do list” and for your “timetable.”  Keep the branches as your “big picture ideas” or your “goals.”

– Brita Midness, Global UGRAD intern, summer 2012