It is hard to keep up with the constant pressure of midterms, assignments and discussion posts while staying mentally and physically healthy and maintaining a social life. Trust me, I know. Managing my time is something that I have struggled with since before I started university. After so many years in SFU, I have successfully learnt how to “effectively” procrastinate towards a good grade. I even procrastinated writing this blog post to give you guys some perspective!
This does not seem fun because it isn’t. Procrastinating is as much fun as playing Green Light, Red Light in the Squid Games.
While I still struggle with time management and end up leaving certain things to the very last moment, like writing this blog post, certain things have helped me (sometimes at least!) to effectively manage my time.
Make a Schedule:
It is much easier to stay on top of everything if you already know what is due and what needs to be studied. Writing down all the tasks one needs to do creates a checklist for the upcoming day or week and can help one know how much work they have left. It is very easy to mess up on deadlines and due dates when you have to go back to Canvas to check it every time (especially in Distance Ed). You can buy a term calendar from the SFU Bookstore or make one for yourself on Word, mark down every exam/assignment due date, and it might help you stay up to date and consistent with the flow of your course.
Put away all distractions:
When I was in high school, my mom used to take my phone away every time finals season came around because every time there was a notification on my phone, I used to open it and then waste 30 minutes to an hour scrolling through social media or online shopping. It is a hard habit to break, but for me, keeping my phone on airplane mode, on Do Not Disturb, or turning off all my social media notifications for the duration of my studies has helped. Remember that Instagram post or TikTok video will be there tomorrow as well!
Find out a note-taking or studying technique that works for YOU:
Everyone has a different studying style, and something that works for me might not work for you. While there isn't a specific note-taking technique I follow, I listen to all my notes on a repeated interval through the "Read Aloud" option in Word. It is easier for me to remember content that I hear over the content I see. The only way to find one that works for you is through researching and experimenting with different techniques before finding the one that effectively works for you.
It's okay to take a beat and chill:
It is important to understand that your best changes every day. There are days when I finish all the tasks I set out to do. There are also days when completing one task takes me the whole day, and then there are days when I stay in bed binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy and contemplating my life decisions. And it’s totally fine! Some days are always going to be better than others, so don't beat yourself up if you end up not completing all the tasks you had. There is always tomorrow!