Time Management during the Semester

Starting a new routine is often considered difficult. The same goes for when you have to get into a new routine at the start of a new semester. With regular classes, the freedom that you experience during the vacations gets restricted and you have to manage your time differently. Here are a few tips to help you out with the transition.

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Keep a track of your deadlines from the beginning of the semester

When you join your classes, mark down the assignment deadlines for the whole semester so you can have a big picture of what is due when. On some weeks, you may have more to do than the others; so it’s better to plan accordingly so that you have enough time to finish everything. Also, for most assignments, you will choose a topic based on the ones covered in classes. Thus, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and choose a topic before you cover it in class. That way, you can start planning what you are going to write as soon as you finish the relevant class. Falling behind on assignments is a sure-fire way to get stressed out and overwhelmed.

Structure your day around your classes

Especially during the pandemic, many people have very loose schedules. Your classes happen at the same time every week and should be the thing around which you plan your days. If you have classes in the afternoon, then you might want to schedule study sessions in the morning and leave your nights free. Everything will depend on your personal preferences and what time is the most productive for you. Even if your classes start later in the day, make sure you are still waking up at a reasonable hour to get some work done in the morning. In any case, your classes become the most important thing in your daily routine and should be treated as such.

Dedicate time to go outside

If all of your classes are online, you might find yourself stuck inside your room all day. Make sure that you go out for a walk at some point – maybe between study sessions, after lunch, or right after your class finishes. Getting some fresh air and sunlight is really important, and it can give your brain a boost of energy and aid your thought process. Find what activity and what time works best for you, and make it a part of your daily routine.

Know your classes and your schedule well

Some classes may seem similar but may require different amounts or different types of work. For example, some classes may involve reading multiple different papers, while others may involve reading one long text; so better prepare accordingly. Additionally, different class schedules call for different modifications in your routines. If you have classes spaced out throughout the week, then you have some time before each individual class to prepare, finish readings or polish off assignments. In this case, you might be able to finish a lot of the work for that class the day before it. However, if your classes are closer together or every day, then you have less leeway. This requires more preparation and scheduling to avoid falling behind. Good luck!

Plan and start your assignments early

This is one tip that everyone tries to follow but few manage to do well. Almost everybody, at one time or another, has become complacent with deadlines and left things to the last minute. It’s easier, less stressful and more enjoyable to start your assignments as early as you can. Not only do you have less time pressure as the deadline approaches, but if you finish early, you can use your remaining time to really polish it off and submit something you can be proud of. Making a concerted effort to finish your tasks as early as you can really pay off in the long run.

Find the right time to procrastinate

Everyone needs some time to switch off – it can actually aid your productivity to take breaks and relax. So, instead of cutting yourself off from social media or unsubscribing from Netflix, allocate a fixed time in your day for it. The best time might be at night after you’ve finished your other tasks, but as long as you find what works for you, you can stay productive and enjoy your relaxation time. Since you are devoting a certain time to these activities, make sure you aren’t getting distracted by them when you are meant to be studying. Remember, balance is the key.

Written by Ewan Smith

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