Grad studies can be exhausting sometimes, especially if you don’t know how to manage your time well, and often times you find yourself trapped at the last minute, running to print out an assignment, or writing up the final lines of your thesis before the deadline. Here are a few tips that have helped me be more organized over time :
- Weekly reviews
Weekly reviews and updates are also an important strategy. Each week, like a Sunday night, review your assignments, your notes, your calendar.
- Prioritize your assignments
When studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task. You’ll be fresh, and have more energy to take them on when you are at your best.
- Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they’re unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
- Plan to spend at least 50 percent of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
- Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
- Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
- Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don’t instantly give people your attention unless it’s absolutely crucial.
- Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.
- Dedicated study spaces
Determine a place free from distraction (no cell phone or Facebook) where you can maximize your concentration and be free of distractions.