Perhaps the hardest thing about the university experience is managing your time. There’s so much going on, so much to do, but there’s a finite amount of time with which to work. These three techniques make the most of the time you have. By implementing these, you will gain self-discipline, accomplish your tasks and meet responsibilities, and lower your stress. The best part is that you will be able to say “yes” to more opportunities because you managed your time.
Eat that frog!
When: Use this when you have a large project, paper, or test that cannot be managed in one sitting.
How: Break the project into small, manageable, daily pieces.
For a paper: Write one paragraph a day
For a test: Study for one hour per day
For research: Examine one article per day By doing a little bit every day you will lower your stress and accomplish a task! Plus, this is the best way to memorize important information: over time.
The pomodoro technique
When: Use this when you are studying and needing to master information.
How: All brains need a break; there are limits to how long you can concentrate. This technique asks you to concentrate for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. During those 25 minutes, put away all distractions and focus (put your phone away, put away social media). But after the 25 minutes take a serious break: play a bit, get up and change your environment, grab a healthy snack, visit with friends. You get the idea. Then, after the break, do one more round of Pomodoro. That’s an hour of good, quality studying!
The Cornell method
When: Use this to take better notes and make the most of classroom time.
How: The first step, the most important step, is to get to class early. Do not use this time to check your phone! Instead, read over your notes from the last class meeting. This gives your memory the context it needs to maximize learning. Second, take good notes for the day, making notes about your notes (ie. put a star by things the professor says will be on the test, or underline new vocab). For a third step, linger after class for a few minutes, writing at the bottom of your notes the most important point of the class experience.