How to Manage Your Time as a Graduate Student
Graduate school can be an exceptional opportunity to gain knowledge and upgrade skills required for becoming a true professional. This can be achieved in many ways: through research, internships, mentoring younger students, or even through a part or full-time job. With so many activities demanding their attention day after day, many beginner graduates find themselves completely unready for all the pressure that’s expecting them and give up right away. To avoid failures and burnouts, however, it’s important to stay organized and manage your time properly. Try these 7 recommendations to bring your work and leisure time in order and stay on top of your graduate studies.
Build a Work and Rest Schedule and Stick to It
When you want to get somewhere fast, you don’t go blindfolded – you use a GPS navigator. As much as this, a thought-through and well-made schedule can help a graduate student to move the way that is important and necessary for their development.
A good graduate school schedule is far more than simply a to-do list – it’s a detailed map that includes your study and work routine, leisure activities, time with friends and family, and other things necessary to live full and quality life.
Another important piece of advice: make it flexible. As much as there will be days when you’re on the rise, there will be times when you’ll feel really low. So, when it happens, you want to be sure that you can go slow or put something off for later.
In graduate school, prioritizing is important as never. With all the studies, family obligations, personal demands, and most likely a job, there’s no way you can perform everywhere at your full capacity. Making the right choices, however, can keep you away from overspending your time, effort, and emotions day after day.
As much as you need to learn to distinguish important tasks requiring your immediate attention, you want to know which other activities you can delegate or give up completely.
«I always do research for an essay if this knowledge can be beneficial for my future career. But I never hesitate to order a service to type my essay for me when it’s just a routine paper. You get to choose whether you want to be a good boy or a skilled professional. I always choose the latter one”, says Martin from California.
Track and Remove Time Wasters
If you always complain that you don’t have enough time to do something, you likely indulge yourself in time wasters. Like germs, these small, sneaky activities invisibly embed in your daily routine and infect it. As a result, you overwork and do nothing at the same time.
Random chatting with friends, swiping the Instagram feed, distracting on YouTube notifications, or selecting the next purchase on eBay are time killers that don’t let you focus on what should be done. Some would say that you should set aside the minutes to kill outside of your main activities. But let’s be honest: it never works as long as your phone is lying next to you. So leave it turned off and away, as well as keep your PC desktop clean from distractions.
Make Use of the Time When You Have to Wait
Until your girlfriend dresses up, in line for a cup of coffee – waiting can drive you nuts! However, instead of fidgeting and cursing the entire world, make this time work for you. In fact, it’s a great time to finish reading a chapter for your next class, revise some data, or even use it for your personal interests you’ve never had time for. As a part-time blogger, you may produce a post for your Instagram feed while waiting for your morning croissant. Or have a game or two in chess while an old lady in line is counting her cash to pay for the purchase. Finally, if you have to waste a few hours a day to get to studies or work, it’s a perfect opportunity to become a well-read person by actually reading or listening to audiobooks. Your call!
Master Efficient Learning Techniques
We all start differently. Some are smarter than others, some have better memories, while others really go above and beyond to learn that thing. But in the end, those who study effectively succeed. You may have to take some time to figure out what it means for you but eventually, it’ll save you a fortune of time!
Figure out when you’re the most productive during the day, how many hours of sleep keep you the most energized, what foods help you think faster, and what activities give you maximum profit. Once you’ll know, you’ll be able to develop an effective studying schedule to tackle the most complicated tasks right when you’re fresh and the most focused.
Don’t Take More Than You Can Handle
In graduate school, it’s easy to scrape together tons of tasks and then procrastinate about not having enough time to deal with all of them. Whether it’s your most favorite professor’s assignment, a family obligation, or even a job order, don’t take over more than you can actually handle. Moderation is the key. If you feel like you’re not busy enough, add up one small activity at a time. Once you’re done with the main workload, you can ask for more.
A job search portal would tell you that the world needs multitaskers. The ability to manage several tasks at a time is a superpower much like the fastest man’s alive. Science, on the other hand, insists that multitasking is the worst enemy of concentration and productivity. Furthermore, managing tasks one after another takes less time them tackling all of them simultaneously.
To avoid excessive energy losses from switching between assignments, build a habit to go the whole length of the task you’re working on right now. A well-designed plan can help you organize your studying time and nail it faster.