5 steps to conquer time management this semester
Our motivation has been dwindling for over a year since the pandemic started and zoom university became a thing. We might have gotten a chance to relax over summer break, but our time management skills need improving before returning to university, Sarah Cupitt writes.
Summer session is the primary break time for university students (minus the few that have to study at Sydney City Campus). However, hours of binge-watching the newest Netflix series like Bridgerton or hunting for trophies on the new PS5 can leave our bodies lacking time structure. If you work and study simultaneously, this may not affect you as much; however, time management hacks are forever evolving, and there’s always something new to learn.
With classes now open for registration, it’s a good time to reintroduce mindfulness into your daily routine to build some good habits to start the university year.
1. Record your energy-draining activities in a notebook or notes app.
Take note of your daily lifestyle patterns. It is useful in finding out more about yourself and is an excellent way to form behavioural strategies later in the semester, helping avoid burnout and fill up your motivation to study.
2. Schedule your extracurriculars, hobbies and self-care.
Reflect on how your day was; what worked and what didn’t? Set aside time the next day for your distractors such as Netflix and Ps5 in particular time slots, and plan your actual work between them instead of the other way around. This process helps to create a positive mindset and fuel your motivation needed for increased productivity.
3. Review how you feel after a full month of tracking.
Stay consistent. If you’re determined enough, you may be able to pull this off in a few weeks if you follow the 21 days to form a habit idea from a 1960 self-help book by Dr Maxwell Maltz, called Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life.
Research, however, summarily discredits the 21-day rule. Phillippa Lally, PhD, a senior researcher at University College London, published a study that found it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit, more than double the time of the 21-day challenge.
Since consistency is the key to success, I recommend adhering to daily tracking for at least a month. If you’re up for a challenge, continue monitoring your activities throughout the semester.
4. Blow up your schedule to the extent of your control.
Balance out the mundane and tiresome tasks that drain your motivation and productivity by integrating activities that fuel your energy into your study schedule, yearly planner or any other tool you may use to structure your day.
5. Keep learning. Knowledge is power.
Look at your upcoming week of plans, grab a cup of coffee or your go-to beverage and start creating patterns of change. Begin improving your life by finding a better, smarter, and more efficient way to do something that saves time, makes life more comfortable and gets you closer to your goals.
Read more: How To Plan Your Days, Months, and Years.