How to Manage Your Work Load Efficiently
Once you pass the third week hurdle of the trimester, the assignments start pouring in. Before you know it, you have three essays and a quiz all due within the space of 4 days. This can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if you haven’t stayed up to date on course work. It’s easy to be left floundering, writing all your essays at the last minute and relying solely on the Ctrl-F function to complete a quiz. However, you can learn to manage your time more efficiently with just a few easy tips.
- Remind yourself constantly about due dates
On the day you receive the due dates of all your assignments, compile them into one central location like a wall calendar or a printed document stuck above your desk. Additionally, enter all the dates into your phone or laptop calendar. Write post-it notes and stick them to your laptop or in the bathroom. This will ensure you don’t have any surprises during the trimester and can adequately prepare for each assignment.
- Complete assignments as you learn the content, not after
This is another way of saying ‘start early’ but that’s too obvious. So, this is how you start early: If you have an assignment in third or fourth week, open up a word document in that first lecture or tutorial and start taking notes. Write the topic down and every little thing that relates to it from the get go, so when the time comes to actually start writing the assignment, you understand the topic inside and out. By this point, writing the actual assignment will be a breeze.
- Don’t waste valuable time
We often resort to learning the way we did in high school; rote learning by typing or handwriting every single word out of the professor’s mouth (or more likely, from the PowerPoint in the lecture). However, every uni student past first year has realised that this is both hard and boring work without much reward. If this works for you, go for it, but for me and everyone I know, by the time fourth week has rolled around, the notes have become sloppy, badly formatted and devoid of the most important information. By exam time, you’ve given up on them completely and have the bare minimum information for your exam.
It’s much more effective to already have the information in front of you, so that when the time comes to listen to the lecturer, you actually listening instead of frantically trying to copy the PowerPoint word for word onto your notes. You can do this by printing out the PowerPoints with a note section so you can just highlight and take notes.
Alternatively, buy (or ask nicely) some notes from a previous years’ student. Usually, they’ve done the dirty work for you, making nicely formatted and detailed notes that you can get printed and highlight and notate to your heart’s content.