In the same way that you found your high school time management style wouldn’t work for college, you probably also discovered that the strategy you used to manage time in college isn’t what you need for graduate school. Given that they are all very different situations of learning, it should come as no surprise that they consequently require varying methods of being handled. With that, allow the tips below to help guide you through the tricky task of time management in graduate school.
1. Schedule everything
Try to schedule everything from the minute that you wake up to the minute that you go to bed. Though at first this might seem unnecessary, you’ll realize how helpful this actually is. By having every moment planned out, you’ll notice where all your lost time goes, what you waste time on the most, and consequently, what you can afford to spend more time on.
2. Learn how to speed read
Given that the legendary lengthy grad school readings are anything but a myth, it’s imperative that you develop speed reading habits so that you can breeze through those drawn out readings efficiently. Excellent speed reading habits can save you valuable minutes, small differences that will definitely add up in the end.
3. Utilize the later hours of the library
Most libraries for graduate schools stay open for longer than those of undergraduate schools. Not only does this mean you’ll be able to keep looking through those helpful resources for much longer, but also that you’ll be able to spend more time in an environment that is conducive to studying and learning. This way, you also don’t have to worry about spending more at the coffeehouse you often study at.
4. Don’t waste a second
Whenever you’re bored waiting in line or stuck in traffic, try to get a bit of work in. Do whatever you can, maybe try to go over whatever chapters you’ve just read or test yourself about the most recent lesson you just learned. It’s a more productive distraction than daydreaming or playing a game on your phone. Try to develop the habit of working with every second you can get.
5. Always plan ahead
Whether it’s for a presentation, an exam, or just a graded recitation, ensure that you’ve not only double but triple-checked everything you need. Beforehand, consider the possibilities of what might go wrong and create an action plan for each possible situation. You can never be too prepared, especially when disasters are always around the corner.
6. Use every tool you have
No warriors can fight without their weapons and no students can be efficient without their studying materials; so be sure to make an effort to figure out which ones suit you best, whether it’s an e-reader, bookstand, or time management app. Then, once you know what works for you, stick to it. Remember to follow the saying: work smart AND work hard.
After you’ve saved your seconds, maximized your minutes, hustled through your hours, and made the most out of all your days, you’ll find that all you have left to do is sit back and relax. The only question now is, what are you going to do with all the precious time you’ve saved?