Time is precious, time is money. None of us have enough time to do everything we want to. You have many competing demands on your attention during the semester. Using your limited time wisely is a key aspect of successful studies.
How can you take control of your time?
There is no magic recipe, no secret. The semester will go past much faster than you imagine so you cannot afford to take it easy during the first weeks. You have to be organized from the beginning.
Studying hard is not enough if you are not working in an effective way. Many students waste time working hard but in a wrong way. Follow the advice about effective study techniques explained elsewhere on this site to make sure you use your time efficiently.
Plan your time
Use a calendar or diary to schedule your time. Add in your classes first, then your assessment submission deadlines or exam dates. For each week, allocate periods of your “free” time for regular individual study periods for each of your courses. Try to maintain a balance – do not allocate too much study time to courses you like and too little study time to courses you find difficult or boring – you need to pass them all. Schedule weekly group revision sessions during which you discuss what you have learnt that week in all your courses with one or two trusted classmates.
Certain tasks will become more or less urgent as you move through the semester. Ensure that you allocate your time accordingly to avoid last minute rushes, stress, panic, and poor performance.
Managing your time efficiently is not easy. You do not control all the circumstances. Be flexible and adapt your plans, when necessary, but do not give up. Allocating your time in a systematic way gives you a sense of control, increases your confidence and decreases your stress.