How I manage my time as a postgrad student
Hi, I am Dipti and I’m currently enrolled on the MSc Marketing & Digital Strategy. In this blog, I will be sharing some time management tips that will help you during your course at LBU.
Are you struggling to find time to finish assignments by the deadline or do you ever feel that 24 hours a day are too few for completing your tasks? I have been in the same tussle as you. I woke up one day and realised that besides being given ample of months for completion of my assessment I lagged way behind. This thus led me to create a plan to time-box myself, which I hope you too will find useful.
Organise your day/week
Start by planning your day rather than your week and build upwards. Take baby steps in developing a daily schedule for yourself and if you are comfortable with planning on your laptop, then I recommend you use the sticky notes application. I find this helps me with my pending tasks or deadlines for the day. One advantage of using sticky notes is that they are right there in your face and so you couldn’t ignore them even if you wanted to.
Alternatively, I also use an online organiser which helps me to plan my daily activities. An online organiser is your virtual support that helps you tackle stress efficiently. Be mindful of creating small goals, prioritising tasks and get rid of any clutter in your schedule.
I was quite surprised with the positive outcomes of organising my daily life. It helped me to focus more on my subjects and fear less about the pending work, mainly because I could see it all clearly in front of me.
Avoid too many breaks
As much as my heart breaks to say this, I have realised that taking way too many breaks diverts my attention and extends my time spent on a project. I like to have a 5-10 min break between two hours of study.
During my time off, I usually go for small walks to get some fresh air and give more oxygen to my brain. If you are really stressed then I suggest a half an hour break, however, avoid watching TV or talking on calls because these can mentally drain you. The intention here is to feel refreshed, so you are ready to kick start your studies again. I’ve realised that when I procrastinate, I become nervous and anxious. A hot cup of coffee during or after my break, helps to keep me motivated and rejuvenated for further studies.
Prioritise your day
It’s always useful to prioritise your tasks, especially if you have a job alongside your studies. Make a list of your priorities and be realistic with what you can accomplish in the given time.
From my experience working part time as a social media executive, I noticed I had to manage my studies and get relevant work experience at the same time. Thereby I suggest taking up a part time job or an internship matching your course subject. This will help you gain relevant practical experience and learn more about it in your course.
One of the best techniques that worked for me was to allocate a minimum of three hours to my studies daily. I gave my 100% in these three hours without getting diverted with any distraction. Meanwhile also making sure to prioritise my work schedule. It made me realise the importance of a work-life balance and set my boundaries accordingly for both.
Balance your life
Find time to exercise or meditate, socialise with your friends and organise group studies. Of course, amidst of this pandemic we cannot socialise much, so I suggest watching movies, play board games with your roommate/partner or siblings. Get some time off the screens and enjoy fresh air, learn new skills, or follow a hobby.
I enjoy cooking new dishes and I’ve recently learnt how to make sushi rolls. I researched online videos and a step-to-step guide and slowly developed a hobby of cooking different cuisines that helped me to reduce stress and enhance mindfulness. After all a happy mind is a healthy mind.
So, in a nutshell remember to play hard and study harder! Time management is just not a skill but an attitude of living life.
Hi, I'm Dipti, a MSc student studying Marketing & Digital Strategy at Leeds Business School. I enjoy writing and blogging about anything and everything. I was brought up in Abu Dhabi and have enjoyed being an influencer there as well.