As we are nearing the end of another semester of academics, it is not uncommon to feel burdened by a larger than average work load. The holidays are coming and deadlines are fast approaching. I know that my calendar is looking pretty heavy right about now. Balancing assignments for GA, school, and work as well as family duties, a social life, and sleep can be challenging at times.
Life as a graduate student can be significantly more demanding than it previously was when I was an undergraduate student. My teachers expect more of me at this point in my academic career. I am taking on new tasks at my GA (that will be revealed in a later blog). I live closer to home and try to make time to see family each weekend. I am also trying to work as often as I possibly can at my other job. This is where time management has become more important than ever before.
A few of important tools that I use to keep myself organized are the following:
1) My weekly/monthly planner: I am an extremely visual person. Before the beginning of each week I look ahead to what needs to be accomplished. I schedule time to meet with classmates/advisors/ and teachers. I create my work schedules for the week. I look at due dates for assignments that are approaching in the need week or two. I block off time to study and read for each class. I block off time for family. I block off time to watch the Eagles and The Walking Dead each week (these are absolutely necessary).
2) My to-do list: I carry around with me a master to do list of every single thing on my brain that needs to be accomplished in the near future. If I ever have a free moment to spare, I take out my list and see if I can cross something off.
3) My expandable folder: I discovered a long time ago that I am the type of person who needs to have multi-subject notebooks and folders. By keeping an expandable folder with me, I always have every important piece of information from class/work with me. I am always ready to pull out something to study if I find that I have a free hour in the middle of the day.
Here is a website that I found helpful when thinking about how I manage my own time. It provides great strategies to apply to your own schedule.
Finish the semester strong, everyone!