Being able to manage your time effectively is crucial for any student’s success. If you’re starting a postgraduate course, you will have to dedicate more time to independent study, so the ability to strike the right balance between university, home life and any other commitments is even more important.
We’ve all only got 24 hours in the day, but how you utilise this time can really make a difference. Here are some ways to manage your time during postgraduate study.
Planning your time well will stand you in good stead for future success. Everyone has a different method. For some people, setting ‘to-do’ lists day by day works better, and for others having a planner for the next month is the way to go.
Using a prioritisation technique, such as the Eisenhower Matrix, helps you organise tasks by urgency and importance. By eliminating less urgent, important tasks, you’re able to spend more time on what matters.
The satisfaction of completing what you set out to do within the right time frame can inspire you to keep going.
Prioritise what’s important to you
If getting in an hour of exercise every day is important to you, don’t feel like you have to cut this out. Keeping active is important for personal wellbeing and will allow you to perform your best when studying.
However, if other activities, like scrolling through social media are eating into your time with no real benefit, you might want to cut down the time spent on these platforms.
You can install time limits on your phone for a number of apps, or you might decide to only use social media at night. Once you’ve figured out a method that works for you, try and stick to it.
Even though you might decide to change it up on the weekends or holidays, it’s best to set yourself a general routine.
Understand that sometimes you might have to say no
There are certain occasions when you will take time out of your studies, for instance, on a friend or family member’s birthday.
But if you’re falling behind on deadlines, forsaking the odd social event might help you stay on track. It’s important to maintain a balance between studying and socialising, but in the lead-up to exam season, you might have to make the occasional sacrifice to get your work done.
Set the scene
To reach your potential, make sure your study space is distraction-free for your own productivity. Investing in a good ergonomic chair, finding the right lamp and even some motivational wall art can make a big difference. Get rid of non-essentials and declutter your surroundings to set the right scene.
When you’re trying to get as much done as possible, it can be tempting to plough on, but setting scheduled breaks can boost your productivity. If you work for five hours straight, you’ll probably get less done than if you were to work for 90 minutes with 15 to 20-minute rest intervals in between.
Out of your studying hours, make sure you’re setting time aside for a good night’s sleep. It’s all about working smarter, not harder.
 The ‘Everything is Important’ paradox: 9 practical methods for how to prioritise your work (and time): Rescue Time blog
 How to have a productive study break: Top universities.
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