thechenster

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jun 19, 2008
31
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi All,
I am a rising sophomore in college and need advice from you multitaskers on how to manage my time. This coming semester, I have set a lot of goals for myself: a 4.0 GPA (w/ orgo chem on my schedule), playing shows w/ my band, being active in my fraternity, wrestling on the club team, and doing research.

Can those of you who have been through the whole college ordeal tell me if this is feasible or if I will just burn myself out? Personally, I experienced a lot of burnout freshman year where I'd do well academically in the first half of the semester but become too lazy to keep it up in the 2nd half.

Should I cut out some activities? All of what I have listed is extremely important to me except research. I could do that next summer or junior year (Is having only a year of research a good idea for applying to med schoool?)

Finally, what are some time management strategies that you use? The only thing I really do during the school year is plan out my week on google calendar, but even then I don't always accomplish everything I have set out.

Sorry for the obnoxiously long post. Any help is appreciated
 

zerial

10+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2009
486
2
Status
Medical Student
hmm... i'm going to be honest with you, some of my time management strategies are kind of painful.

1. don't spend excessive time on things like eating. if you can cut down meals to 10-15 min, that's extra minutes for other things.

2. find a way to always be accomplishing something. for me, i learned how to study while i was walking by loading notes into my pda phone, so i could memorize while i was walking, and then studying becomes a lot easier.

3. if you find yourself wasting time, you just have to figure out how to make yourself focus. i don't think there's any secret to this. this is really the best time management strategy, is to stop wasting time on things like facebook and sdn.

4. sleep 8 hours a day, it really helps keep you at 100% every minute of the day.

5. i have a calendar on my laptop using microsoft outlook that syncs to my phone. i find this to be ESSENTIAL to planning out my schedule. i couldn't schedule properly without a phone/laptop sync and good calendar.

6. add EVERY task into your calendar that comes up in the day. when you have random time, start completing the easy tasks. save your long blocks of time for the harder things, like working on problem sets.

7. FOCUS during class. learn during class. take good notes. it makes it MUCH faster to do homework and to study later.

8. don't waste time when you study. your mileage may vary, but in my experience, reading the textbook is often a waste of time. lecture notes have always been enough for me to get an A.

9. become more efficient in everything you do. the biggest thing that comes to mind here is having a laptop/tablet to take notes in class. why does this make things more efficient? you get to get down EVERYTHING that's said in text format. later on, you can then use text search to find things Instantly. a problem on a problem set uses a concept you don't remember? rather than poring through notes for it, just text search.

10. it's really just boils down to priorities. if your top priority is to get these things done, then you will. if having a balanced life is also a priority, then it's much harder to accomplish so many things in parallel.
 

runrunrudolph1

trauma surgery
7+ Year Member
May 9, 2009
311
7
Status
Medical Student
hmm... i'm going to be honest with you, some of my time management strategies are kind of painful.

1. don't spend excessive time on things like eating. if you can cut down meals to 10-15 min, that's extra minutes for other things.

2. find a way to always be accomplishing something. for me, i learned how to study while i was walking by loading notes into my pda phone, so i could memorize while i was walking, and then studying becomes a lot easier.

3. if you find yourself wasting time, you just have to figure out how to make yourself focus. i don't think there's any secret to this. this is really the best time management strategy, is to stop wasting time on things like facebook and sdn.

4. sleep 8 hours a day, it really helps keep you at 100% every minute of the day.

5. i have a calendar on my laptop using microsoft outlook that syncs to my phone. i find this to be ESSENTIAL to planning out my schedule. i couldn't schedule properly without a phone/laptop sync and good calendar.

6. add EVERY task into your calendar that comes up in the day. when you have random time, start completing the easy tasks. save your long blocks of time for the harder things, like working on problem sets.

7. FOCUS during class. learn during class. take good notes. it makes it MUCH faster to do homework and to study later.

8. don't waste time when you study. your mileage may vary, but in my experience, reading the textbook is often a waste of time. lecture notes have always been enough for me to get an A.

9. become more efficient in everything you do. the biggest thing that comes to mind here is having a laptop/tablet to take notes in class. why does this make things more efficient? you get to get down EVERYTHING that's said in text format. later on, you can then use text search to find things Instantly. a problem on a problem set uses a concept you don't remember? rather than poring through notes for it, just text search.

10. it's really just boils down to priorities. if your top priority is to get these things done, then you will. if having a balanced life is also a priority, then it's much harder to accomplish so many things in parallel.
wow this is pretty awesome.:thumbup:
 

ShNaMasta

MMC: Co-GM 4 Life
May 31, 2009
18
1
Southern, TN
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm suprised you even have all the time to do any of that and do shows with your band. Any shows my band prepares for takes at least 10 hours of practice and 50 hours of bickering before we can do it. do you guys have like a scheduled insult hurling time then practice? ha
 

WhatNEyeTem

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 15, 2009
110
7
Status
Attending Physician
Hi All,
I am a rising sophomore in college and need advice from you multitaskers on how to manage my time. This coming semester, I have set a lot of goals for myself: a 4.0 GPA (w/ orgo chem on my schedule), playing shows w/ my band, being active in my fraternity, wrestling on the club team, and doing research.

Can those of you who have been through the whole college ordeal tell me if this is feasible or if I will just burn myself out? Personally, I experienced a lot of burnout freshman year where I'd do well academically in the first half of the semester but become too lazy to keep it up in the 2nd half.

Should I cut out some activities? All of what I have listed is extremely important to me except research. I could do that next summer or junior year (Is having only a year of research a good idea for applying to med schoool?)

Finally, what are some time management strategies that you use? The only thing I really do during the school year is plan out my week on google calendar, but even then I don't always accomplish everything I have set out.

Sorry for the obnoxiously long post. Any help is appreciated

1) Get a Blackberry.

2) Concentrate and do well in 2 activities (at most).

3) Check your e-mail at most twice a day.

4) Get rid of your tv.

5) Stop perusing StudentDoctor network :)

6) Don't overload your class schedule. Med school adcoms don't care if you're taking 22 credits a semester if you're doing poorly in them. Just take a normal class load (eg 4 classes).

I think the best piece of advice is just to be a master of a few select activities... not a 'jack of all trades'.

-J
 

URHere

10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2007
1,775
546
Status
Resident [Any Field]
My advice? The absolute biggest this is:

1) Don't devote too much time to an activity unless it has real value to you.

If you really want to play with your band, wrestle, research and be active in your fraternity, then don't let anyone stop you! It can be done, and if you are really enjoying what you are doing, you stand less chance of burning out. I did many things in college (far more than choosing one or two key focus points), and it worked well for me. If you decide to go that route, here are some more suggestions:

2) Don't make your schedule so rigid that you can't change it on short notice. If all of your friends are going out somewhere and you get really upset because your schedule conflicts, then change it. The activities may not burn you out, but consistently watching other people do fun things and missing out will burn you out rapidly.

3) Set goals for yourself. Sure, it's easier to go to and from each activity mindlessly, but you'll find your hobbies more fulfilling if you take the time to step back and think about the progress you are making. For example, don't just go into lab and do the gruntwork - ask questions, make sure you know what it means, and always be thinking about where you should go next with the research.

4) Don't freak yourself out beforehand. I've had some semesters where I've thought to myself, "Dear god, I'm trying to do what?", only to find that things were much more manageable than I thought. People can do much more than they think they have time or energy for - it's just a matter of not being afraid to try.

5) Be honest with yourself. Although you don't want to freak yourself out, you need to come to terms with the fact that you may fall short of a goal or two. If you try this, and a 4.0 doesn't happen for you, will you be OK with that, or will you drop something else? It doesn't hurt to have a contingency plan. Personally, I decided a 3.7 was high enough if it gave me peace of mind, but your decision may be different.

From your post, it sounds like research is expendable to you, so I would suggest kicking it off your schedule for the moment. If you don't really enjoy it, you will resent having to go when you get busy, and that won't be a good thing for you or for your lab.

Good luck!
 
Jun 2, 2009
13
0
Baton Rouge, LA
Status
Pre-Medical
My favorite quote of all time, and its especially true for pre-meds

"In college you can study, have fun, and sleep. Problem is, you've only got time for two."
 
May 19, 2009
97
0
Texas
Status
Pre-Medical
3. if you find yourself wasting time, you just have to figure out how to make yourself focus. i don't think there's any secret to this. this is really the best time management strategy, is to stop wasting time on things like facebook and sdn.

4. sleep 8 hours a day, it really helps keep you at 100% every minute of the day.

7. FOCUS during class. learn during class. take good notes. it makes it MUCH faster to do homework and to study later.

8. don't waste time when you study. your mileage may vary, but in my experience, reading the textbook is often a waste of time. lecture notes have always been enough for me to get an A.
I 100% agree with these, and with the calnewport blog comment. Some of my own opinions:

8 hours of sleep is ESSENTIAL! (Or, however many you need to not feel tired)
For most people, missing out on sleep => skipping class => not learning => skipping more class => etc... it's a downward spiral. Being able to focus during the day is crucial. If you don't do well getting up early in the morning, schedule your classes to begin later in the day.

Also, always go to class. It only takes a few hours of your time a day and skipping catches up with you later when you waste hours trying to copy notes and learn what you could've learned during class. And since tests are almost always specifically from the lecture, you're missing out on test material.

Changing just these two things about my life helped me jump from average grades to all A's these past two semesters.

Oh and find your own way to defeat procrastination. Everyone has their own way. Break tasks up into small, easy-to-finish chunks, take 5 min breaks every hour while you study, or constantly remind yourself of your goals... etc.
Having a really specific calendar helps. Set google calendar as your homepage or something and sync it with your phone. Get in the habit of constantly adding to your calendar (I use a planner that I carry around with me all the time).