Learning new material, laborious homework assignments and exhausting exams–these are just a few timely tasks that you face with each and every semester. Time management, especially for adult learners who have numerous other obligations, can be a major challenge when you’re still getting back in the swing of things. Here are five tips to help you manage your time so that you can accomplish all of your goals without stressing out.
1) Prepare for the unexpected
You never know when work, family or other obligations are going to come up, so make sure to stay ahead of your schoolwork as much as possible. This will help you prepare for the unexpected. By using small chunks of free time and staying well ahead of deadlines, you’ll limit the need to scramble to finish assignments or pull all-nighters.
2) Adopt a schedule
Falling into a routine can be helpful in staying on top of your schoolwork. For example, if you regularly schedule a time each week to write out your upcoming to-dos, prep meals for work and school and do other housekeeping tasks, you’ll go into the week feeling more confident and organized. A regular schedule will also make it easier to divvy up study time and free time.
3) Create (and regularly update) a to-do list
In relation to the last recommendation, it can be beneficial to make a short- and long-term to-do list. The long-term list can include dates for work trips, school assignment due dates and other projects that take up large chunks of time. Meanwhile, a weekly or daily to-do list can help you keep track of your more urgent priorities.
4) Be realistic
It’s easy to convince ourselves we can make time for everything, but eventually something is bound to slip through the cracks. Be realistic about what you can accommodate in your schedule. Leading up to final projects or exams week, you’ll likely have to scale back other activities in order to dedicate more time to studying. By setting attainable goals, you’ll reduce your chances of falling behind or missing a deadline.
5) Take meaningful breaks
Everyone needs time to veg out on the couch, but take meaningful study breaks whenever possible to keep your batteries charged. Exercise, sleep and mindful leisure activities can be a great way to stay energized and avoid academic fatigue.