During the first months in the graduate school, you feel so excited about the level of your studies. But later on, you seem to be discouraged and very much stressed. Graduate Students will always complain that they have plenty of things to do but very little time to accomplish them. How are you going to keep your sanity if you are full of course requirements, teaching, researches and the demands of your life?
In order to be free from being burned out and drained from your energies, you should do something in managing your time, that is, you will have to note down your days and make a progress report of your goals. It has been said that time is gold. Time is one of the most valuable resources of man. You are supposed to use it wisely. When you lose it, it will never come back again. Make the most of it. This is where time management will apply.
Time management will have a key role for your success in the graduate school. When you use time management, it does not mean you will be able to slow down or speed up the time. The success of time management lies on you. It is actually how you manage yourself.
Moreover, you will be using techniques of time management in order to be organized. If you are not organized, then everything will be in disarray. It is then necessary to put things in order so as to achieve efficient and effective performance. And this will encourage you to be more productive and contented. Time management simply pertains to your responsibilities and the choices you have made in using your time.
We have the following time management tips for graduate students.
1. You will have to make use of a calendar and school planner. Put some space where you will record your appointments, lists to do and assignments. Make use of a yearly, monthly, and weekly calendar.
You are required by the graduate school on long term perspective of time. Formulate a plan at least two years ahead with a yearly calendar which will be divided into months.
2. Take your time in planning and organizing. Everyday make it a point to check your calendar, take note of your future assignments, and your lists must be updated.
3. Divide the tasks and assignments into smaller parts. It will be manageable and easier to accomplish.
4. You should be able to identify your set of goals and the deadlines to achieve them. An example for this is when you set deadlines which are realistic for every phase of finishing a large assignment like the term paper.
5. You must classify your tasks and lists according to priority. The total picture must be taken into account. You decide which is the most important among your tasks and lists. Which assignment will be due this week? Which assignment is not easy?
6. You must be flexible all the time. Be aware that there will always be distractions and interruptions which will hinder your daily schedule. Make room for necessary adjustments of your time.
7. You should be able to know the time wherein you are very productive. Identify your biological highs and lows. Are you at your best in the morning? Or are you an afternoon person? Plan your whole day properly. You must reserve the most difficult task during the time when you are at your best to do something.
8. Do not be ashamed to say no to a person if you unable to do it. It is something that you are honest with him. There are occasions wherein you will be given additional courses, responsibilities of job, activities which outside your schedule. Try to examine carefully how relevant they are to you, before you decide to accept them.
9. The time wasted must be used properly for productive purposes. Are you aware that you spend so much time while commuting, standing in lines waiting for your turn, and waiting for your doctor, adviser or a friend.
Always bring a pocketbook so as to utilize the time which will be wasted. Take with you a minor assignment which could be done easily. You could use the time to make some changes in your planner and for self organization. With the additional number of minutes, you will be able to achieve more.