How often do you look back on your week and wonder where all your time went? You had a blast, but somehow that paper didn’t get written. There’s a test coming up next week and you haven’t even started studying.
The secret to managing your time wisely is to assess what you did and didn’t get done at the end of each day. Whether you use a paper calendar, iCal, or Google, go over your to-do list daily. Consistency is key.
To get an idea of what each day should look like, picture the day in three categories, each 8 hours long:
Rest – Academics – Personal.
This is one of the anchors in your daily schedule. Set your ideal bedtime and block off 8 hours of glorious sleep. Night owls just end up being tired and less productive the next day.
Your next anchors are class and study time. You are in class for an average of 4 hours per day and will ideally spend as much time on homework, reading, projects, etc. Block out the time you are in class each day and make room for 4 more hours of schoolwork each day. Four hours a day times 7 days a week gives you 28 full hours for homework. Didn’t think you had that kind of time, did you?
Plan to spend at least 10 minutes reviewing your notes after each class. These few minutes spent on reviewing the material will vastly improve how much you retain. Condense your notes each day and review them for just a few minutes a day. You’ll avoid the stress and sleep deprivation that comes with cramming before exams if you get familiar with the course material.
The last 8 hours of your day are entirely for your personal good: meals, socializing, sports, job, etc. If you need extra study time, it’s coming out of these last 8 hours. Don’t sacrifice Zzz’s!
It doesn’t always seem like it, but there is more than enough time to be a good student while taking time out for yourself. Your college life should be fun and productive. Make an effort to take at least an hour every day to stop and explore your neighborhood, check out FitRec and unplug for a few minutes! We’re confident you’ll see an improvement in your life at BU.