Time is of the essence they say. Having more work with very little time is always the case for every busy individual especially for grad students. However, time management being an important tool for success, is something anyone in grad school should simply follow to catch up with all the demands without getting burned out later on. Here are two useful time management tips you might want to try:
Employ a calendar system
In grad school, you need to have a wider perspective when it comes to the use of your calendar. You need to have a yearly, a monthly and a weekly calendar.
- yearly range - long term deadlines would definitely fall into this calendar. You need to plan and lay down all deadlines for the next two years in this yearly calendar. Of course, the calendar should still be divided into months for you to easily track them. Long term goals would include conference submission, financial aid, and grant proposals.
- monthly range - you can write down, test schedules, paper deadlines, and important appointments in this monthly calendar. It is advisable that you use an academic calendar which contains the academic year from middle of August to July. An academic calendar is a specialized calendar intended for academics.
- weekly range - you weekly planner should consists of work schedules, course meeting times, due dates, study time and social schedules. Using an academic planner is highly recommended since it utilizes a weekly range of measurement. You can buy an academic weekly planner at your book store or you can also search through the net for any downloadable weekly planner.
Employ a to-do-list
Using a to-do-list will make it easier for you to track daily tasks which would lead you to accomplishing your goals. The items on your list are not added task but they are your sources of reminder of what needs to be done. Having a to-do-list template would be a great help to you. It is necessary to take at least ten minutes every night of going over your list and noting down what you need to accomplish the following day.
- prioritize your list - make a ranking of each item by its importance. Work from the most important down to the least important items so you won't be wasting your time and energy on the non-essentials.
- schedule a time for research daily - find time to work on your research daily even for just 20 minutes.
- practice flexibility - your daily tasks should comprise only 50 percent of your time so that when something unexpected pops up, then you can still handle them.
Developing time management skills is necessary in becoming an effective, efficient and more organized graduate school student.