Taking a post-graduate degree is a very big pursuit. It’s one step ahead of your peers, given the competitive atmosphere that employment now brings. With the myriad of opportunities for a post-graduate degree, so many more may also now choose to take one, alongside keeping their full-time jobs. This is doable, for as long as you’re able to meet one very important requirement: you know how to manage your time effectively.
Time management skills are very important trait for all students to have, especially as a post graduate student of a special ed degree online, or any other degree, for that matter, where there’s so much more expected from you. In a nutshell, this refers to the process of planning and controlling how much time you’re going to spend on studying, going to classes, and all the other activities that you have to accomplish on a daily basis.
If you’re able to manage your time well, you’ll not only be able to do more within the same or a shorter period, but you’re also going to be able to deliver better results.
If you’ve long been struggling along this line, there’s hope for you. There are many ways now for you to be more effective with time management, and these include abiding by strategies, such as the following:
Plan All Your Activities Ahead
As a post-graduate student, one of the things that you must have is a monthly planner. Before the start of every month, take the time to plan all of your activities on a well-made schedule. This should include your class days, exam schedules, study hours, working hours, errands, and others.
Having a plan for everything, ahead of time, can help put your schedule in perspective. With one, it’ll be easier for you to find the days where your workload is lesser, so that’s where you’re going to insert other activities and non-essential schedules, for instance. Without planning ahead, your other activities and life’s responsibilities may get juggled up with work and school. That’d make it harder for you to catch up on your studies, if there’s anything that you missed out on.
Having this monthly plan is very important for post-graduate students, especially those who are doing their master’s as their classes may not really be every day or as frequent. Just because you’ve got more flexibility with your class schedule, this doesn’t mean that you can take it easy with your work and academic responsibilities.
Set Goals Correctly
You should also have a goal as to why you’ve started with your post-graduate degree in the first place. So, above anything else, start with proper goal setting. Your goals are very important, as these can keep you going, even during the days when it gets challenging and tough to do so. Your goals can help set your work, life, and academic demands in order, helping you remember the main reason for all your hard work.
Generally, a good goal is SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
One of the most common misconceptions about multitasking is that it’s going to buy you more time or increase your productivity. Perhaps, in a way, yes, as you’re able to do more within a shorter time-frame. But, the problem now lies in your focus and in the quality of the work that you come up with.
As a post-graduate student, you’ll want to do well and excel. This means that all the results you come up with should be nothing less than inferior. This, you can’t achieve when you multitask and your focus is all over the place.
Rather than multitask, which can decrease your productivity, focus on one task or assignment at a time. Whenever you do anything work- or academic-related, be sure that you focus on that only and avoid any distraction. That way, each time you study, you can cover more with your readings or finish more assignments, without necessarily eating up time that you would’ve otherwise spent for your other responsibilities.
Prioritize Your Tasks Wisely
In connection with the tip above on not multitasking, this also means that you’ve got to learn how to prioritize your tasks wisely. Focus on those that have a higher importance and are due very soon than those that you can still put off for the far future.
Learning how to prioritize your tasks wisely can be done more effectively when you’ve got a to-do list or planner to coincide with your monthly schedule. This can give you a better overview of those tasks that have a higher urgency than others.
When it comes to your lessons and studies, this also means focusing on studying those subjects that have a higher degree of difficulty for you. This differs from one student to another as not every student will find difficulty in the same subjects as others do.
Block Out Any Distraction
Once you’ve sat down to study, work, or do anything academic- or work-related, focus on it and block out any distraction. This rule applies even if, for instance, you’re studying at home and you’ve got kids or family members who are always calling out for you.
When it’s study time, make this solely study time. More so, be sure that you log out of your social media accounts and put your phone away. Even if you think it’s just going to be five minutes that you’re going to spend there, time can easily fly by. Next thing you know, you’ve just wasted half an hour that you would’ve otherwise spent studying, simply gossiping on social media.
If you’re struggling to stay focused, you may want to try out any of these tips:
- Once you’ve completed at least three or four academic-related readings or work, give yourself a 15-minute to 20-minute break.
- Set a timer for half an hour of continuous, uninterrupted work.
- Take only a quick five-minute break to grab a coffee, stretch, or check important emails.
More students now, more than ever, are turning to getting their post-graduate degree, given the employment advantages and opportunities that having one is going to bring. If you’ve only started with your post-graduate degree, it can’t be denied that this may be quite a challenging pursuit. But, eventually, you’ll get used to the workload you have to accomplish, and, most of all, balancing all of life’s responsibilities. Start with the time management tips you’ve just learned above.