As an engineer I often have more homework and less free time than my non-engineer friends. Since engineering can be pretty time consuming it is extra important to learn how to manage your time well. Unfortunately for me, time management has been my biggest hurdle in college. During my freshman year I always waited until the last minute to finish my assignments and study for exams. Little by little I’ve been learning how to better manage my time so I can do the things I need to do while also having time to do the fun things I want to do. These are four things that really help me manage my time:
- Don’t Procrastinate! Never say “I can do it later”. Not procrastinating is probably the most difficult but also most important thing when it comes to time management. I find that I end up having more time to do fun things when I get my assignments done ahead of time.
- Keeping up with the lecture material. Even when I don’t have an assignment due I try to fill my free time with reviewing notes or reading my textbooks. I’ve realized that reading the textbook to supplement the lecture material takes a huge load off my shoulders come exam time. This semester I am taking 2 biology courses, which cover a ton of information and require a lot of memorization. It is a horrible feeling when you realize 3 days before an exam that there isn’t enough time to study all the material. Reviewing a little bit each day from the very beginning instead of waiting until the last minute takes the stress out of studying for the exam.
- Use a calendar. iCal is my savior! I used to only have a planner to write down my assignments, but I’ve found that being able to see my day on iCal, hour-by-hour, helps me stay more organized. Now I use a planner and my calendar to remember the things I need to get done.
- Don’t forget to have fun! If all I did were study and do homework I would be wayyyyy too stressed. It’s all about finding a balance between school and fun.