3 Time Management Techniques to get you Through the End of the Semester

Spring break is over and now the race to finals week has begun. With only 5 weeks left in the semester, many of you are probably feeling the pressure of the numerous impending deadlines.

Practicing self-care in the next few weeks is more important than ever. Taking time to eat balanced meals, engage in physical activity, and getting plenty of sleep should be at the top of your to-do list along with all of the other tasks.

But how can you make time to take care of yourself when you don’t even feel like you have enough time for all the other tasks on the to-do list?? Read on for 3 time management techniques to get you through the end of the semester.

  1. Prioritize Tasks – make a list of everything that you have coming up in the next few weeks and label them as urgent, important, or not important. This includes anything related to academics, work, family, and friend time.
    • Urgent – these are tasks that need to get done right away, anything with a deadline.
    • Important – tasks that are important and meaningful to you but do not necessarily have a deadline.
    • Not important – tasks that don’t really need to get done and that are not important to you.

This visual of tasks can be helpful in seeing where all of your time is spent. Do you have a lot of not important tasks in your schedule? If so, it might be time to rethink how you accept commitments. Turning down not important tasks can help to free up time for more important items. Especially as you prepare for the end of the semester.

  1. Control Procrastination – the most stressful or unpleasant tasks are the ones that you are most likely to put off and this will only increase as deadlines approach. Try the following techniques to combat procrastination:
    • Structure time – using the prioritized task list you just created, schedule out structured working time using a format that works best for you: day planner, outlook calendar, desk calendar, etc. Find the best fit and stick to it.
    • Break up larger tasks – learn your working style and plan accordingly. IF you know that you will not be able to sit and work for 3 hours straight on a paper break it up into shorter 1-hour blocks throughout the day to help break up the unpleasant task.
    • Create short-term deadlines – We have 5 weeks left in the semester, now is the time to build in shorter deadlines to break up the larger tasks. If you have a 20 page paper due during finals week, break up that task into writing at least 5 pages per week until the end of the semester. This will give you plenty of time to do your best, without rushing to get it done at the end.
    • Avoid perfectionism – Use these strategies to give yourself enough time to do your best.
  1. Manage Commitments – be reasonable and realistic with the time you have and manage your commitments by saying yes when it is important and saying no when you need to.

Being realistic with your time as we near the end of the semester can help to alleviate some of the pressure and stress. Managing your time appropriately can help to provide you with some much needed free time for self-care while also giving yourself enough time to do well in your academics.

For additional support, check out the Student Life Student Wellness Center’s Wellness Coaching program and the Dennis Learning Center’s Academic Coaching program.

-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator

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