Have you considered how you’re going to manage your time yet this year? No? Obviously, why worry about the future you live for the now.  

Generally speaking, it usually takes a good 9 months before the majority of students start losing their minds from stress. Want to learn some techniques for balancing your time to effectively reduce the amount of stress in your life and no I’m not selling you anything? There are several things you can do to keep yourself organized and on top of assignments, exams, and papers, not to mention your very busy and great party hard, meet friends social life! Here are a couple of tips for surviving the first and probably all other aspects of your academic year with your sanity intact.  Start using them now, and your chances of successfully balancing your time throughout the year will be greatly improved and stress will seem like an extremely distant memory.

Use a planner to keep track of your busy life. Write down everything you don’t want to risk forgetting, for example, birthdays, deadlines, book returns and upcoming tests, to social events. And remember to take your planner with you every day, so you can check it before you commit to anything.

Write out a “To Do” list every day without fail and internalise the idea of writing it out, and especially during really busy periods. This will help you focus on the tasks at hand. Also, give everything a priority and be selective maybe use numbers from 1-5 1 being the most important and 5 being the least, if you really have that little time in your day. Ask yourself what will happen if you don’t do something, and if the answer is “nothing” perhaps think a bit more since you wrote it down its probably important, if still no then forget about it.

Learn to take power naps when you need them (yes I refer you back to power napping[ if you’ve read the other articles]) even 20 minutes can be enough time to allow you to recharge your brain battery. As a suggestion, though, don’t grab a few winks in a public place. Study on the bus or between classes. Small chunks of time can add up to big chunks if you make use of them, and may give you some time later to relax for longer periods, it’s a proven fact that small chunks of information are easier for the brain to internalize into long term memory. Focus on one thing at a time (easy for men, we can’t multitask) . Take some time for yourself everyday. People who take time for themselves don’t generally burn out a lot faster, whereas people who do take time for themselves are generally a lot more productive and self-sufficient. It pays to be selfish sometimes and just do nothing for awhile. Try taking a walk in the evening, or listen to your favourite music, or read your favourite book or whatever it is you like to do to let go of your day and relax.

Also, avoid over-committing yourself by learning to say “No” (yes the power of no is a great thing) when you’ve already got too much on your plate, use the planner, heck at least it will make you look smart an organised. It’s better to risk disappointing someone now than with a last minute when they can’t find an alternative. Finally, know when your peak times are throughout the day and do your highest priority, most energy-requiring tasks at these times. Plan for some breaks to rejuvenate during your lower-energy times and don’t resort to using those sugar loaded drinks they may make you feel better but they have a big dip, coffee is just as bad. Taking control of your time and practicing techniques for managing it well can and will put more time into your day. By starting to use time management now, you may be able to avoid academic or personal disaster in the busy months to come.   

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