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Time management: getting it right

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It’s the morning after what proved to be a bizarre Halloween and I’m just back to college from a run. There must be around a thousand things on my mind right now. The slight hangover probably takes priority right now but once it subsides I’ll probably be spoilt for choice. I’ve got essays to write, jobs to apply for, friends to see and articles to write and edit. I don’t know yet where I’ll begin or whether I’ll get everything that needs to be done sorted before the end of the day (I probably won’t).

A small comfort is that I know I’m not alone in all of this. Finalists from across the country are in a very similar position. It seems that what is expected of us to apply for all these wonderful jobs, find the time to study so we get that minimum 2.1 we need and also keep doing all those extracurricular activities we keep going on and on about in our cover letters. If you’re lucky and you still have the time to see friends you can moan about it together over pre-drinks.

So here are five quick tips to make your life easier over the next few months.

Don’t moan about it

People seem convinced that if they moan hard enough all those essays will be miraculously written for them and job application forms completed and sent. Perhaps life will take pity and sort itself out for us too. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work that way. Constant moaning will get you nowhere with your cover letter and will just make everything you do more tedious so use the time spent moaning to get on top of things.

Don’t do work when you’re spending quality time with friends

For starters I’m guilty of this myself. Realising the huge amount of work I needed to get done today I found myself drunkenly editing an article last night. That was a bad idea. Rather than enjoy the company of my friends I chose to stare at my phone screen. I’ll probably need to read through it again anyway as I don’t trust drunk me with words. Also, my phone died later that night.

Don’t plan your day

I know how sacrilegious this sounds but trust me on this, all the self-help and study skills guides are wrong. You don’t want to plan your day if you know that something more important can crop up to mess your schedule up for you. Do work on a piece-by-piece basis prioritising what’s important now. The important thing is you get what needs to be done when it needs to be done and that you’re always working on something.

Avoid drama

This is a hard one but say you’ve fallen out with a friend or two of your friends are breaking up, avoid it like the plague. Ideally, you want to be as supportive as you can to all of your friends, there when they need you, and on good terms with everyone but stay out of the murky waters.

Go out more

A fresher told me going out made her more productive during the day because she knew she wouldn’t let herself go out without finishing all the reading she needed to do. Of course that takes a certain amount of discipline but it’s worth making use of your brain’s reward systems if say you really, really like going out.

One last thing. I know firsthand about the experience of applying for jobs and it can be difficult, so keep a level head because stressing out doesn’t help.

What tips do you have for good time management? Let us know below.

Photo: Oliver Tacke / Flickr

People tell me I’m kind of a big deal.
Hesham MashhourTime management: getting it right

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