Hello Everyone! My name is Vrinda Shah, I am in my second year of the Honours Life Science Program and I am one of the graphics designers for the LSS 2022/2023 Team this year.
Congratulations, you guys officially have made it through the first semester of the 2022/2023 year and all you have left is exams. Through your University experience, you have recognized that sometimes it is difficult to manage between your school work load, your volunteer position or job and your personal life. Sometimes it is difficult to keep up, while remembering to do the three most important things which are eating, drinking and sleeping. WELL FEAR NOT!
I am here to provide you with some tips and tricks on what you can do to make your everyday life a little easier!
The first thing I do to stay organized is use this app called Notion. It provides tons of different methods you can use for planning and scheduling. I have provided examples of some down below that I use for all my due dates for assignments, tests, quizzes and projects throughout the semester. Once I am finished I cross them out. This template keeps me on track and I also don’t have to keep opening the course outline to check when things are due.
The other example templates are for ones I use throughout the week. I use them to organize what is due that day and what I will be working on for school and my daily schedule. I make my week’s schedule 1-2 weeks in advance and it takes less than twenty minutes because I just duplicate the previous templates.
Many of my friends use Notion, Google Calendar, Excel, journal or the McMaster Calendar. Find what works for you, whether that be a to-do list or a journal. What works best, is what will keep you organized.
Assignments and Tests: Example
Daily Schedule: Example
School Schedule: Example
2. Tips to Better Time Manage
(a) SCHEDULE REALISTICALLY (DON’T OVERSCEDULE)
I made this mistake throughout my first year of university and that was overwhelming myself with too much to do on my to-do list. It is important to be true to yourself and plan enough for the day and not too much. For example, if you're behind 9 lectures for an exam coming up in a week; then you can schedule yourself to finish 3 lectures a day for three days and spend the rest of the days reviewing. Once you are finished, this will motivate you to do more work because you’ll feel accomplished. Instead, if you schedule yourself for 9 lectures, you will feel super unmotivated to start or get tired by the 2nd one. Therefore, BE REALISTIC WITH YOUR TIME!
(b) REMEMBER TO SCHEDULE IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES & TAKE BREAKS
Sometimes it is easy to forget things like eating, drinking water, exercising and taking breaks. For example, going out with your friends for dinner can be a break away from studying. It is important to include these things on your schedule to stay motivated to continue working and relax. It is scientifically proven that you’ll perform better if you’re well rested and have enough energy to work.
(c) DON’T WORK WHEN YOU’RE TIRED (SLEEP)
It is so so so important to make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. It is especially important you are not working while you’re tired. You may be a morning bird or a night owl, but whenever you sleep it is important to be consistent and at the minimum get 7 hours every day. Sleep does not only keep you functioning throughout the day but it helps you stay focused and engaged, which allows you to recall better in the long run.