Time management tips?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by nohika, Nov 15, 2009.

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  1. nohika

    nohika lurker status Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    In basics, my time management skills suck. I need to learn how to make them better.

    I start off at the beginning of the quarter (I'm at a CC) with a planner, set up a schedule, etc, but then things get chaotic and it disappears beneath a pile.

    What I was just curious, is if anyone has any tips on how to manage your time better? How do you guys keep track of everything - assignments, study time, pretty much anything you can think of?

    Thanks in advance! :love:
     
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  3. SDSU EB

    SDSU EB 5+ Year Member

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    Umm, I remove as many distractions as I can. So I often stay at school, in the library working until I feel I have accomplished what I needed to accomplish before finally going home.

    I always try to work ahead by a week or two in terms of reading assignments, because you never know if you're going to hit a spot where you just need a break, or a family issue comes up, or jury duty, etc.

    I always take breaks, getting coffee with some friends, or reading the news, that way I break up the monotony of homework and reading.

    With assignments, I try to put them into a planner, which I don't always use. But it helps if I forget an assignment. Again, working ahead consciously makes all the difference, because if I'm working ahead, I have to look up what I'm supposed to do. And then I have a couple of weeks inbetween when I do the work and when it supposed to get done, so I have plenty of wiggle room if I forget to do something.

    I make sure to get out, or at least away from homework!

    I go watch a movie, go on a date, go to a party, have long philosophical talks with people, participate in some clubs around campus, plan events, etc.

    So in sum: write everything down, work ahead, go someplace where you can choose when you take breaks and where you will be able to study best, and have a good time the rest of the time.
     
  4. rileyroo

    rileyroo Auburn 2014 2+ Year Member

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    my process exactly
     
  5. TheEvilShoe

    TheEvilShoe 2+ Year Member

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    I'm a big fan of wall calendars... those normal ones that you flip through each month, and can buy at book stores or wherever. I have it on the wall next to my desk, so I can just look up at any moment and figure out what's coming up next and how long I have before something is due. I also can then see if I have a lot of things due at the same time, and can prepare accordingly.

    I'm extremely visually oriented (and forgetful!), so I have a color coded system as well as stickers for various types of important events. For example, any events that are not part of my normal week (like a meeting, or party, whatever) are in green, anything assignments that are due are in bright pink, exams are in a big bold red with an upside down smiley face sticker next to them (ha)... and anything else that is very important for me to remember, but isn't an exam, (such as when to sign up for my next semester's classes) are in green but have a star sticker next to them to draw my attention.

    I guess that sounds a little convoluted but it's worked for me since I started using this method my Sophomore year at college. I'm the kind to never remember anything unless I write it down! (I even have to write myself notes on my hand to remind myself to write something on my calendar when I get a chance! How sad). I also have a planner that I carry around with me which lives in my backpack; in the planner, I have every topic or reading assignment for each given class written down on the day they're to be covered in class... I cross each assignment out as I am finished it, and cross out the whole day when I am done. This way, I can tell how far behind, or rarely ahead, that I am with my readings/homework.

    Oh and I write all this stuff out at the *very* beginning of the semester, as soon as I get my hands on the class syllabus, so that I can look way ahead of time for when things are due. This is a little time consuming, but nothing needs to be changed for the next few months unless the teacher changes the due dates for something. And then I just write any other events down as I find out about them. I also put sticky notes up around my desk if there's something I need to get done at a non-specific time (such as calling to make a doc appointment or something).

    I'm kind of a dweeb when it comes to decorating things though, and a little OCD with my note taking, so everything I do ends up being color coded in a very rigid manner... works for me even if my friends make fun of me for it sometimes :)
     
  6. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

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    If you're the sort of person to enjoy technology, get a PDA, iTouch, iPhone, smartphone... use the calendar function or a reminder app to keep track of things. Much harder to ignore or lose than a day planner. :)
     
  7. TheEvilShoe

    TheEvilShoe 2+ Year Member

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    Oh and then the actual "actions" towards the time management... exactly what SDSU already said :)

    Although fostering kittens threw off my working ahead for about a month recently... I'm getting back into the swing of things now lol
     
  8. scb44f

    scb44f Llamas and cattle and sheep, oh my! 7+ Year Member

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    I think the first thing you need to do is to determine where your problem with time management lies. Are you not devoting enough time to study, or are you just forgetting to take care of random assignments/tasks?

    Take a look at how you are spending your time each week (M-F). Try to estimate how much time you spend commuting, volunteering, participating in organizations, eating, going to class, studying, sleeping, getting ready for the day, exercising, watching tv etc. Add up those hours... it might surprise you how far off you are, but take a look at where you are spending seemingly too much or too little time. I know people who have spent 40 hours a week just working out, but didn't realize how detrimental to their academics that sort of habit is.

    My second suggestion would be to keep your planner with you. Throw it in your backpack (or whatever you use), keep a bookmark on the current date, use it when you need to, and put it back in its spot in your bag when you are done. Find a planner that is set up best for you. If you like to see your whole month laid out before you, buy a planner that has a good setup for that. If you want to be able to write more for each day, a planner with a weekly spread will be more useful.

    When you get an assignment, write down when it's due at the top of the assignment, as well as in your planner. This should help you remember when it's due without having to look it up again. I also like to write down when I plan on working on that assignment. So if an assignment is due on Friday, I write down the class and the assignment on Friday, but then I might go some day before it's due and write down that I'll be working on that assignment that day. Just make sure that you leave yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete each assignment. Once I'm done with that assignment, I like to cross it off with a black pen.

    If having a paper planner just isn't working, try something electronic. Use your cell phone or computer. I work mainly on a Mac, so I use iCal to organize my schedule at the beginning of each semester until I am familiar with my obligations.

    If you have a favorite tv show, game, etc., use it as a reward. For every hour and a half of studying, do something that you're into for a half an hour or so. My second roommate liked planning in free time as well, and made it a goal of hers to get done with homework by 7 pm so she could have until bedtime to herself. I like to use weekends as my reward. I don't do any work on Saturdays. Fridays and Sundays vary, depending on what is due the next week.
     
  9. aspiringDVM

    aspiringDVM AU CVM c/o 2014! 2+ Year Member

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    I've been trying a new "power study" strategy lately, where I set a timer and REALLY CONCENTRATE for 30 minutes, then take a 10 minute break, rinse and repeat. It sounds inefficient, but I can get as much done in a totally dedicated and distraction free half hour than I can in 45 minutes or an hour of studying, checkin SDN, jumping up to do my laundry, getting a cup of tea, etc.
     
  10. aspiringDVM

    aspiringDVM AU CVM c/o 2014! 2+ Year Member

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    During Freshman year, one of my professors pointed out that there are 24 hours in a day: 8 for sleeping, 8 for work, and 8 for fun. That breakdown has really stuck with me, and though I've never been able to achieve such blissful balance, it's a good reminder to budget your time wisely and well.
     
  11. cowgirla

    cowgirla Oklahoma 2014 7+ Year Member

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    Heh, in an ideal day, I get a lot more than 8 hours of sleep....
    I'm a big sleep fan.
     
  12. lalzi22

    lalzi22 The OSU CVM c/o 2014!!

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    I am all about my planner and a giant wall calendar. Also, I may not spend crazy time in he library studying since I love vegging out, but even when I veg out, I am working. If I am watching TV at night on my couch, I am making flashcards at the same time. That way I don't spend "studying" time making flashcards and I can also get in relaxation time since flashcards require less than no brain to make.

    If I need to study study, then I go to the library and don't leave until I feel satisfied. Even food is a study motiator for me. No food until I finish x chapters, and once you start getting hungry you HUSTLE and make sure you finish. However, this only works if you have self discipline to make sure you are studying and not just rushing through to eat or party or w/e.

    Really, studying and time management is mostly about self discipline. Any idiot can mark stuff down in a planner, but it takes a dedicated person to see what they have and plan out when they will do stuff and then ACTUALLY do it so they don't get stressed.
     
  13. nohika

    nohika lurker status Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Thanks guys for everything! :love:

    I'm trying to see if I can set up a "study area" at my home, to have an area where all I do there is study (without distractions). If that fails, I'll be at school tons anyways, so I can just study there.

    Working ahead sounds like a good idea, definitely - probably one of my biggest failing points. :laugh: I'm a big procrastinator, so it's hard for me to do things early - I rarely feel pressured until the day before. It makes free time a little rough at points - having wiggle room would be lovely.

    I have a planner, but since I had to have my classes rearranged after the first two weeks, it's completely messed up and disorganized. Thankfully, I'll be able to start using it again for next quarter. It does have a monthly and weekly view, but I am definitely looking at getting a wall-sized (or whatever) calender that shows a month in huge detail, like TheEvilShoe uses. I write mine out the very first day/when I get the syllabi as well! It normally works out well. Had to drop a few classes this quarter, though (both without Ws) so it messed it up a bit.

    I've never thought of color-coding notes...if you wouldn't mind messaging me or something about how that works? I've never heard of it before, or how it would work. (Also, I used to foster kittens! We did for a while, but my mother's allergic to cats, so we had to stop. They were so cute, though.)

    I have an iTouch - just got one about a month ago, and am slowly learning how to use it. I just haven't found a time-app that does exactly what I want it to (I have a Windows Laptop). I've heard Google Calender is pretty good, so I'm going to start looking into that once my schedule's more regular. I'm almost considering printing out a schedule that has a week on it, and 18 hours of each day, and literally figure out what I'm doing each half-hour. Or at least make a list of what I need to do for each day and why.

    I pretty much don't write things down - I tend to keep track of things mentally pretty well, but I'd really, really prefer to become more organized and depend less on my memory, because it can be faulty. I don't study nearly as much as I want to, and I need to change that. I think documenting my study time will be tons more efficient. Writing down when the assignment's due and when I plan to do it sounds amazing...I may not use my planner tons, but I do plan to reference it, and I have this little notebook (like 4x6inches) that I carry around with me and scribble down my to-do list for the day in it. Much easier to fit in my pocket. Crossing things off is definitely good so you remember what you have and haven't done.

    :) I'll definitely make a list of "rewards" that I can get once I'm done studying. Maybe not TV, but computer time would be awesome. Maybe pointless TV-time would be good, though. I think your roommate's idea of having everything done by seven so she can have her evening to herself is worthwhile too - it's nice to have "winding down" time at the end of the day. Weekends off sounds good too. :D

    I've never tried the "power studying" before, but I think trying that while in the library at school would be useful. Even if it's only taking a break to do homework or something, haha! I think your professor's time breakdown is wise as well - while it might not be attainable, it's definitely thought-provoking.

    Lalzi, I so have to have noise around me when I work! Whether it's my iTouch with music, or having the TV on, I need the noise! So if I watch TV, I either do homework or make flashcards. I'm thinking of getting rings for the different classes I have to make flashcards for - there will be four. Definitely a good idea in that!

    I'm really going to try to crack down this coming year. Thank all of you guys for your great advice! :love:
     
  14. TheEvilShoe

    TheEvilShoe 2+ Year Member

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    With regards to my color coded notes... What I mean is that while taking notes in class, I have different colors for different parts of my notes. So for example... during a lecture I will underline a large topic in Purple, any sub topics in Blue, and key points get squiggly underlined in Green, and any key words get underlined in Red. It doesn't work for every class, especially if the teacher is pretty unorganized... but there are always key points or words regardless of the prof's organization of the lecture.

    It makes it a lot easier for me personally to study later. My biggest method of studying: I type up all my hand written class notes and also go through all the textbook readings and type those up so everything is all in the same place. I then print it up, and go down each page (usually between 5 and 25(!) pages), and put a checkmark beside each thing I have memorized. I continue to do so until everything is checked off. This outline can take anywhere between 2 hours and 20 hours depending on the class and how much information I need to remember (eg: intro to psych will be short and quick, but biochem write ups take me forever!). I usually write these outlines at the minimum two days before an exam, and then study the entire day before. I like writing it about a week before if I have the time. I'm also the kind of person that will sit down and crank out 10 hours of work at once (with little breaks in between like computer or TV) if I have to, as I'm not so great at spreading things out... I hate leaving something unfinished once I have started lol

    The color coding is also good because it keeps you actively thinking while taking notes. I know that when I just take all one color notes... I sometimes zone out and just write things down, which makes it harder to remember when I am looking back at the notes later to study.
     
  15. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

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    Yes! Last night, bed at about 2am (I listened to music for a bit, I like doing that when I don't have to feel guilty about not going right to sleep) and awake at, oh, 12:30pm? That's 10 1/2 hours? Yes, that's how I like it.

    Oh, I realize how things will be. I'm enjoying it while I can.
     
  16. lalzi22

    lalzi22 The OSU CVM c/o 2014!!

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    I color code in a way that is similar to TheEvilShoe, except in addition to that I color code my planner (both wall and little one). This makes it easier to visualize my months. On the big wall planner (shows only the month, not for individual days) I highlight tests in red (red is a scary color), quizzes in green and papers in blue. I don't put homework assignments on my big wall planner cuz that just makes it too cluttered and I start to ignore it. HW goes in my portable planner. On my big planner important events also go in, but those are simply written in pen.
    The color coding on the big planner makes it so I can look at a whole month and quickly see "ok, I have two tests this week, one quiz and a paper due the next week" cuz I can see all these blocks of color. Then I can plan ahead when to study (since I put this all down when I gt the syllabus)
     
  17. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013 7+ Year Member

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    I'm a huge proponent of the Ipod touch + Google calender.

    I've tried on and off for years to get an electronic calendar to work for me, and this is the first combination that I have finally managed to do it with. The magic is that it stays perfectly in sync and I can check it anywhere I need to.

    The only way it will work though is if you put 100% of the places you need to be into it. So beginning of the quarter I entered every class I had for the entire semester. And as we have gone along I add every club meeting and lunch presentation I want to be at.
     
  18. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

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    And every date... I mean study session... :hungover:
     
  19. nohika

    nohika lurker status Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    I'm definitely going to try that this coming quarter - do you use one of the "clicky" pens that switches color, or different-color pens? I'll go browse my college's bookstore tomorrow to see what they have. Is it as easy to manage when your teacher talks a mile a minute? In some classes I've had I end up struggling to keep up and may miss a thing or two. Also...this sounds kind of odd, but how do you type up the notes? Is it at a desk, at a table...? I've tried it before, but haven't been able been able to get physically comfortable with a bulky book.

    I'm definitely going to have to invest in a good wireless printer and tons of printer paper, haha!

    I definitely plan to color-code my planner and my wall-calender - maybe not my small notebook, though. That's mostly used when I need to jot down a bunch of stuff I need to get done for the day (or a small span of days). Sometimes I try not to look at a calender too much because I tend to panic if, say, I have five exams the coming week or something. That's when the weekly calender is better. :laugh:

    I'll definitely look more into Google Calender - I have Goosync (or whatever) on my iTouch, I just haven't had the time to really figure it out or play with it much. Guess I'll use the rest of this quarter to figure that out and perfect using it for next quarter.

    :laugh: Twelvetigers, that's awesome! I've rarely been able to sleep that much at once...I'm normally up by 8AM, whether I want to be or not. :)

    (Sorry for my novels, guys.)
     
  20. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

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    I think I could sleep for 24 hours straight if I felt compelled to. I would probably get hungry though. I think my record was 16 hours - that was in high school, during the summer.
     
  21. nohika

    nohika lurker status Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    That is amazing! :eek:

    ETA: Oh! I love your avvy, by the way!
     
  22. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes 7+ Year Member

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    I love sleep too! But this is the opposite of what I did last night. Bed at 3 AM and up at 9 AM because I was meeting family for breakfast. I am insane at times.
     
  23. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes 7+ Year Member

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    I probably have the least inefficient way of managing time. My best work is done by procrastination. If I write something down I tend to forget about it. It is almost like it disappears from my brain and I never remember that I wrote it down. So, I tend to just remember homework assignments and when they are due. But it actually works for me. (This is the complete opposite of my mom who writes down everything, it is actually kind of comical to see her “to do list” and see “take a shower” or “eat breakfast” on the list :wtf: I always wondered if she really needs to write that down. Oh well, to each their own.) I would just recommend trying different things until you find something that works for you. Everybody functions differently. So try a few different methods and eventually one will click and you will just get used to doing whatever it is that works. :cool:
     
  24. Minnerbelle

    Minnerbelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    I beat ya! I've definitely slept on multiple occasions for over 20 hrs straight (I probably have done over 24). Once I slept a whole 65 hrs in a 72 hr span. like out cold. friends thought i died...

    my sleep latency has been recorded at 0 min (no joke) during a sleep test with all those electrodes coming out of my head. this was after a good nights sleep (10 hrs sleep the night before).
     
  25. shred4life

    shred4life

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    I'm a big fan of the dry erase board calender. I get a couple different color markers and set up the month ahead of time. I color code for exams, quizzes, science lectures, doctor appointments, family events, work schedule, etc. If anything changes, it as simple as just quickly erasing it and rearranging! My schedule is usually pretty hectic and changes a lot so the erasable factor is big for me.

    I also carry a little planner that I got for free at my community college (I know your also at CC so check with your student union, they usually give out one free to each student each year) I write down all my assignments in there and transfer all the big info (exams, paper deadlines, etc) onto the dry erase calender.

    Also, the library is a great tool for me. Since I commute to CC, I usually have breaks between my classes, and some are pretty long (4 plus hours) so instead of going home and vegging out like I want to, I go and sit in the library and study for a few hours. The library is pretty free of distraction so I get most of my stuff done there.

    Best thing you can do for yourself is just stay organized and on top of everything, but don't get too obsessed. I'm an advocate for the "do nothing day" where you pick one day a week and strictly dedicate it to yourself and do no school work at all. It's usually a Saturday or a Sunday for me.
     
  26. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

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    Minnerbelle, I sleep well, but that's just nuts. :hungover:
     
  27. ImaJerseyGirl

    ImaJerseyGirl WesternU CVM c/o 2014 7+ Year Member

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    I do the same thing. Set a timer for 30 min and "go!". I'm have a hard time actually sitting down to do the work... but once I get rolling I'm OK. As long as I get the first 30 min under my belt I'm fine. Good luck!

    ETA: My sleep record is 48 hrs... after being overprescribed vicodin for getting wisdom teeth removed. It knocked my ass out!
     
  28. bardsle1

    bardsle1

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    i also am a fan of the planner where i highlight in different colors exams, paper, activities..

    but i have also found that a good way for me to get organized is to have a 'homework' document on my computers desktop. i list each day and literally plan out my hours with what homework i will accomplish during 3-4, 4-8 so on so forth.. i even plan in free time and eating into that document so i know exactly what i am faced with. also i need it to be flexible, which is very easy in word to erase and move things. might sound a little crazy but you know, it works for me :)
     
  29. ImaJerseyGirl

    ImaJerseyGirl WesternU CVM c/o 2014 7+ Year Member

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    Oh, forgot to mention this- for those of you with iPhone/iPod Touch, there is an app called "iStudiez Pro" that organizes courses, assignments, meetings, exams, etc. It was about $2 I think, and I normally don't promote stuff like this, but it has been very helpful.
    My only beef with it is that it does not integrate with the calendar system alreday on the phone and mac computers. So you end up having distinct personal calendars and your school calendar in separate apps. It is pretty neat.
     
  30. rileyroo

    rileyroo Auburn 2014 2+ Year Member

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    david,

    is the app actually called google calendar? i have organizer lite which has "google calender" in parentheses. i really like that app so far. but don't use it as much as my regular planner.
     
  31. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

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    I think there's a general Google app (Google Mobile?) that allows easy access to the calendar and is free.
     
  32. david594

    david594 The-OSU CVM c/o 2013 7+ Year Member

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    You use the apple calender app that comes with the ipod. You then setup your gmail account in settings(if i remember right) to sync via the microsoft exchange protocol. You can then have it sync your email, calender, and contacts automatically between the ipod and google.

    Here is how to set it up: http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=138740

    And then dont forget this last step here if you have multiple calenders you want synced http://www.google.com/support/mobile/bin/answer.py?answer=139206
     
  33. TheEvilShoe

    TheEvilShoe 2+ Year Member

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    Each year (or semester, if I run out that fast), I buy one of those packs of like 5 different colored gel pens, the nice ones. Depending on the class, it sometimes gets difficult to keep up... but in those cases, I would just write everything and then go back and underline as necessary when the teacher took a little break to breathe lol. Some people I know use the multi colored clicky pens, but I personally find it quicker to just have all the pens uncapped on my lap ready to be used, assuming I don't drop them! I'm quite good at writing very quickly while listening at the same time though, so if you're not a super speedy writer, this method might not work as well. It took practice though, but by the end of Freshman year I was very efficient.

    To type up my notes, I put my laptop on a table as far back as I can, then my notes are in front of the lap top on the table (if they table is big enough), while I'm sitting at my chair. The notes end up between my arms as I type (if that makes sense?), so I can just look down and type away, checking for mistakes on the screen once in a while. If the table isn't big enough then the notes usually end up next to my lap top which is a little less comfortable.
     
  34. nyanko

    nyanko 360noscope squidkid 10+ Year Member

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    So this means since I only require 6 hours of sleep for maximum functionality, I actually have an extra 2 hours! And work is (mostly!) fun to me right now, so really, every day is 18 hours of fun.


    It seems like a lot less. :laugh:
     
  35. 168135

    168135 2+ Year Member

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    You're not the only one with time management problems. I have them too. I'm a lot better this semester than I was when I first started university.

    The bus ride for me is 30 minutes to school and 30 minutes back, so it's pointless for me to go home whenever I have breaks. Whenever I have a break, I study, look over my notes and recopy them if they are messy or disorganized, or spend some time in the lab.

    I find that setting aside a certain period of time to study doesn't work for me, for example, studying from 7pm-8pm and taking a 15 minute break. I don't even look at the clock. I just go until I feel like I need a break, and when I look at the clock, I've usually studied for much longer than I attended. I take a little break... check my email, grab a snack, talk to my gerbils, and then I hit the books again.
     
  36. sumstorm

    sumstorm 7+ Year Member

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    I agree with the advice to figure out what the problem is...and if you don't know, spend a week tracking what happened with the time each day as you go through the day.

    In undergrad, I kept 2 calendars. One was a monthly calendar that was about as large as a notebook (we got them for free from the bank then) that I carried with me. The other was a large 4 month wall calendar dry erase. I used erasable colored pencils in my backpack calendar and wet erase markers on the wall calendar.

    At the beginning of the semester, I went through the syllabi and wrote out all the reading assignments, homework, tests, and other things I knew about. If I knew there was a major project like a large paper, I would divide it into chunks and assign each chunk a due date as soon as I had the information. Each class got a color but tests were circled in red and quizes in pink.

    I never could do the daily calendars or the weekly ones, so I chose monthly ones with large spaces for each day that I could write everything on.

    I then took a sheet of paper that went from 5am to midnight on the y axis and days of the week on the right axis, and came up with a mandatory 'routine' study plan. So, if I had 40 minutes between school and work, I knew what task I should be doing during that time to keep up with my classes. That was my game plan. I might adjust it after a few weeks (more time for some classes, less for others) but I committed to studying routinely at those times, and knowing what I was going to study. That included study groups.

    Each week on Friday I took a close look at the wall calendar, made any adjustments to my regular calendar, and budgetted the coming week if I needed to. The big thing for me, to balance work and school, was to have everything as routine as possible and stick to the routine.

    Now, in vet school, I use an electronic calendar by Franklin Covey called planplus. During hectic times (like this week for finals) I still print out that 5am-midnight weekly schedule and plan out my time. I have study goals; I try to review material from lectures within 48 hours with my notes/text to add info in. I try to ramp up to exams. Harder in vet school.

    One trick I learned and still stick to is to alot myself time to complete tasks. In other words, if I am going through anatomy lectures, I only give myself 30 minutes to get through the power point slides. Time pressure keeps me from allowing my work to expand to fill the time alloted.

    Another trick is to beware of passive learning. reading is passive. copying is passive. I try to get things in my mind, close my notes, and recreate the info I covered.
     
  37. cvt

    cvt

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    Sep 7, 2009
    near pittsburgh pa
    I do basically the same thing, but with highlighters. I have a pack of 10 different colors and I often end up using every darn one of them. I do the highlighting after class though. During class I just write write write, then go back and carefully read through my notes while highlighting, then read through them again a couple of days later.
    I've been made fun of for my crazy review sheets... I try to fit everything that I need to know on as few pages as possible (i turn 15 pages of notes into 3), and highlight the hell out of it. For some reason, not having as many pages to read through helps me retain the information and keep it more organized in my head.

    As for time management, I'm also a fan of the wall calendar, and post-its. I have post-its everywhere. I'll often write down how much time I'm going to spend doing what, which helps me stay on track. I also try to purposely schedule some breaks between classes to go the library and study. If I try to do the studying after im done with class for the day, I get too anxious because I know that I can go home... so I do, and end up distracted.
     
  38. nohika

    nohika lurker status Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

    2,513
    585
    Oct 31, 2009
    I've tried a dry-erase calender, but the one big disadvantage is the erasability - it's so easy to accidentally hit it and have things just "poof". Plus...well, my siblings have no respect for property, so they like to erase things for fun (I had one to use a year ago or so). Yup, I have a planner - I try to use it, it's just so hard to keep using it throughout a semester, haha. I definitely need to "crack down" on it.

    Yeah, I don't drive, so I do spend a good amount of time at my CC...I'll definitely look into going to the library or at least some quiet place on campus and studying inbetween classes. Library's always the quietest - sometimes I have a mini study-group with my friends there.

    I may not be able to take a whole "day" for myself, but I'll definitely chalk off a good portion of a day. I agree - personal time is such a necessity, especially if you want to avoid going crazy. I contacted a professor who will teach one of my classes next quarter (he also teaches one of my current classes) and he's going to email the syllabus to me tomorrow, so I know what to get started on.

    I've never tried setting a timer - maybe I should do that. Of course, then I'd end up ignoring the timer and getting back to work, haha! :laugh: (Wow, all you guys sleep so long sometimes. I think my longest record is 12 hours - that was when I was knocked out after my wisdom teeth, too.)

    I'll definitely look in to arranging things on word - just seems a little less portable. Hmm...definitely worth a try. Worst case it will end up with tons of scribbles on it.

    I did end up getting Google Calender figured out, and am trying to work with it. It's a little daunting, but I've only been using it less then 24 hours.

    I'll definitely look at getting some gel-pens or highlighters or whatever - it sounds like an incredible way to make quick notes over what's important or not. It's true it can't be used in every class - for example, we're quizzed over in my biology class next quarter over worksheets we fill out during lecture. That's it - not much else. So it wouldn't be much use then. But likely in chemistry and the other bio class I'll be taking, it will be far more useful. I'm a pretty quick writer, though sometimes my notes at the end of the class are hard to distinguish because the handwriting is so bad. :laugh:

    Ahh! That sounds like a better way to do it. I could probably manage that with a textbook, as well, if I ever need to take notes directly from the textbook. Or I could sit on the couch and use the armrest...hmm. I'm going to try to set up an area where all I do is study there. It may or may not work out, but I'm going to try.

    Yeah, I swear that 48 hours in a day would be much more convenient!

    I never thought of re-writing notes before...I think getting a three-ring binder and using loose-leaf paper (with tons of extra paper) and maybe keeping track of them that way might be easier, especially with going through paper quickly in a notebook...hmm, I'd been meaning to do that this quarter but just kind of lost track. I study at night as well - it's much quieter in my house, and I like it that way.

    I'm really, really going to try to make that kind of sheet, and at least track my time between classes and after (at night). It makes so much sense to do such a thing, especially since I'm anticipating actual homework next quarter. I think how you set it up sounds really thought-out - I'd never thought for adjusting the schedule. Setting a time-limit sounds good...I'll definitely integrate that.

    I agree with the passive! I learn best by reading for a bit, then looking away from the reading and try to explain/recite/whatever I'm learning to mid-air (or my dog, but he normally walks away after a few minutes).

    Thanks all of you guys for your awesome tips! :love:
     
  39. KGemma

    KGemma 2+ Year Member

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    Oct 2, 2009
    California
    I need to be completely organized with my life or else I'll just miss deadlines:

    In the beginning of every quarter, as soon as I get a syllabus, I grab a wall calendar and mark down every due date, every test and every quiz date thats given to me in every class. This way, I'm not surprised to find out I have three midterms and three lab reports due in one week -- and I can plan accordingly.

    On a weekly basis, I print out a course schedule and write down what I need to accomplish by the end of the day (every day). For example, today, on top of Ochem lecture, study session with the teacher, and cell physiology, I tutored Biology for four hours (I'm a hired Bio tutor for my University), and my goals were to make flashcards from today's lectures in both classes, work on my physics homework, write my phsics lab report, and read biology. Setting these goals each day assures that my work doesn't pile up.

    On top of penciling in when I need to do homework/study/work/go to classes, I also set exact dates and times each week that I go in to volunteer at the three places that I do. It's hectic, but it can be done.
     
  40. KGemma

    KGemma 2+ Year Member

    32
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    Oct 2, 2009
    California
    Also, as far as classes go, on top of reading and doing homework, as I previously mentioned, I make flashcards. Preferably, I make flashcards right after lecture, but I make sure they're made at least by that night. If I have whatever my teacher said memorized and stored into memory, when it's time for the test I don't study very much and I just peruse the book to add to whatever was given to me in class. I also record lectures with my iphone for those days that I just didn't get enough coffee :sleep:. I think my method works well for me. Once you get the hang on making flashcards, they don't take very long to make.
     
  41. SaintSamson

    SaintSamson

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Portland, OR
    This has been a really helpful and informative thread! :)

    I used to be HORRIBLE at time management, and even worse at procrastinating. I've worked hard on improving both these, although I'm not anywhere near ideal yet (...I was planning to start studying 30 minutes ago, heh...)

    I've a question about time management, though. What do you do when an assignment takes a lot longer than you thought it would? I've been trying to get ahead with reading, assignments, and everything I can in my course (all 4 courses are online this term), but I only ended up 1 hour ahead at the very end of the week. I'll plan to do a reading or homework assignment, and I try to be realistic about how long it will take, but I've encountered many times this term that an assignment that I think will take 1.5 or so hours ends up taking 3+ (not because of procrastination, the assignment itself just takes that long...)
    How do you estimate how long things will take and plan your schedule?

    A good example of this problem: I needed to take an online IQ quiz and write up a response answering 5 specific questions. I allotted myself 1.5 hours to do this, as I felt comfortable with the material, and the last online quiz I took only took 20 minutes to complete. This quiz took 2 hours to complete and threw off my studying plans for the entire evening.

    Any tips?
     
  42. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers damn 7+ Year Member

    17,374
    6,663
    Mar 12, 2008
    TTown
    Veterinarian
    You could allot some "buffer" time - if you run long on studying or doing an assignment, you haven't cut into other things, and if you finish early, you can sit and have a cookie while staring out the window. Or, you know, whatever.
     
  43. sumstorm

    sumstorm 7+ Year Member

    3,331
    11
    Apr 5, 2008
    NC
    Use wet erase markers on dry erase calendars...they still erase, but with water.

    As for 'unexpected stuff' screwing up schedules, build in buffers. More than you think you need. at worse, you have a pleasant suprise of having extra time, at worse, you don't lose anything timewise.

    Essentially, I keep my schedule a bit like sliding tiles....so say I have 4-5 alloted for anatomy and 5:30 - 7:30 for physio....If I get done early with my goals for anat, ican slide that 2 hour block of physio up, and move my break later.

    By the way, your needs/styles for time management can change semester to semester, year to year, and depending on other demands on your time. For me, vet school is VERY different than undergrad in terms of how I manage and organize everything.
     
  44. KGemma

    KGemma 2+ Year Member

    32
    0
    Oct 2, 2009
    California
    In the beginning of a school year, I feel out how long things take, and what I'm capable of doing each night. I set those goals to complete each day -- and this is where the coffee comes into play -- and if an assignment takes longer than I expected, I stay up until it's finished. I know this isn't the best reasoning because coffee and lack of sleep can really ruin a body, but I've only pushed myself like that once a night every other week (if that). My reasoning is that if I can get through it, then I can rest and just relax over the weekend.
     

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