UMASS Blog

Can you spare some time to read this?

Our new blog writer Parizad has written her first post for us about time management at university. Check it out for some tips on keeping your work at bay! library

A major part of becoming a university student is making that daunting transition into adulthood. This new life will come with terms and conditions you never asked to sign up for. This includes a choc-a-block schedule amongst many other things. Keeping up with this can at times be overwhelming and when we fail to do so it’s easy to feel inadequate. But hey, it’s important to know you’re not alone and time management is a battle that can easily be conquered!

First thing’s first- it will be different than when you were at college. This turned out to be a good thing for me. I am no longer the lazy student I was back then and my procrastination days are behind me. Sometimes I feel the clutches of lethargy pulling me back, but knowing how satisfying productivity feels it’s easy to pry out of its grip. Here’s a trick that’s worked for me all my three years at The University of Manchester: Keep an academic diary. Crossing tasks off a list really helps. Be realistic about when you can get what done, jot down the task in according day and time slots, not just an ambiguous list of chores. Constructing a routine is a great motivator.

Make sure you know your timetable inside and out (and days in advance), so you have a clear idea of when you are busy and when you have free spaces. My advice is to never skip lectures/tutorials/seminars etc . This is your degree you’re trying to achieve, all these things take precedence over anything else. It’s your chance to ask questions and make sure you don’t miss out on any vital information about your course. Don’t rely on your department to email you everything.

Here’s my personal system. Any assignments that are due the week after I get them will always be done on that weekend. This way I have many hours and I’m not fatigued after a long day at uni.  Of course, if it’s due in the same week (or if you have weekend plans), the obvious answer is to split it between the afternoons you have free that week. Don’t postpone it to the evenings when you have a greater chance of becoming stressed and distracted, not to mention running the risk of sacrificing sleep to pull an all-nighter. AVOID LAST MINUTE PANIC SESSIONS AT ALL TIMES. It does your health and sanity no favours. An hour or two in between tasks is never a waste, use that to get any itsy-bitsy pieces done. I would also like to say that I do most of my revision and reports in the library, as the ambiance is a wonderful concentration booster!

 

I’m also someone who partakes in a lot of extra-curriculars outside my degree. Societies are a fun part of university life and I would recommend everyone to join what they love. It not only presents an opportunity to make new friends with the same interests as you but also gives you a much needed break from the coursework. Whether it’s writing for the Mancunion, playing badminton or volunteering for Student Action, much can be fitted into your schedule! You will always have afternoons and evenings free on weekdays, so try to keep those open for therapeutic activities.

As aforementioned, keep evenings relaxed. Watch several episodes of a show, read a book, cook, do the laundry, go on a night out. None of these have to be martyred for university.

Something else that I greatly recommend- exercise. Some do sport, I prefer the gym. It’s what I stick to religiously every Wednesday afternoon and weekend mornings. My body stays fit for running around campus and my mind is alert and energised for when I head to the library on those Saturdays and Sundays.

Try it out. Don’t forget to keep crossing those tasks off in your diary once you’re done! I can guarantee it’s a feeling you’ll get addicted to. Setting myself micro-goals on a daily basis in order to reach any big goal is how I overcame my pre-university laziness and became the efficient student I am today.

I wish you all happy holidays and best of luck with any coursework or revision that must be squeezed into times of celebration.

See you next blog,

Pari