As a first-year university student, there are a lot of new things to get used too. However, perhaps the most important is time management. I wouldn’t say I’m the best at time management, far from it! But, given the heavy workload, I understand the importance of effective time management.
Considering I’m a professional procrastinator, I figured the first thing I needed to do was to put time in perspective for myself. During summer, in between my tasks and reading, I played Fallout 4 and managed to clock over 400 hours in game, all the while wishing I had more time to do this that or the other.
First, I put four-hundred hours of gameplay in perspective for myself.
There is only 168 hours in a week and just 336 hours in a fortnight. That means I’ve spent 2 weeks, 2 days, and 22 hours of my allotted life span solidly playing a video game. Moving nothing more than the digits it takes to take down a Chameleon Deathclaw. (Although in a panic that might be ten digits.)
Having realised that 400 hours is an incredible amount of time, I asked myself whether this was the only thing I wanted to do with my time, and then positively reflected on all the things I wish I had done or would also like to do.
Don’t get me wrong. I love gaming, but as a student, balance is vital.
This leaves the question of how do I transition from the summer sofa creature into the proactive and productive person I need to be for university. And preferably how do I do this in a way that doesn’t feel like someone cracked a glass plane on my head come September’s start date?
For me, this required a simple but effective 3-step plan. Something I can adjust as needed and that wasn’t demoralising.
Step 1: Exercise.
I’ve found that by using the natural motivation we all have to stretch in the morning, I could find the motivation to exercise. Taking that time to roll out my shoulders, back and stretch my legs has helped a lot. Personally, I’ve noticed: Improved posture (which seemingly disintegrates into another dimension when you’re stuck at a desk all day!), a better mental attitude and sense of motivation. And I look forward to a day more after a quick but invigorating workout.
Step 2: The Study Plan.
Creating a study plan was initially challenging as the workload in August, while important, was very sporadic. However, come mid-September, I was quickly introduced to my new academic best friend: the reading list. For me, a simple note pad does the trick. Once or twice a week, I check and write down my allotted workload and then leave the notepad open on my desk. Having a list ready helps me to stay focused without having to panic about what I need to do at the start of every day. It also helps keep distractions to a minimum as I know that once my allotted work is complete I have time left in the day for other aspects of life.
Step 3: The Chill Out.
Every night, I set time to hang out and chill. Time that I can spend rewarding myself for a day of hard work. If I’m tired, it might just be watching some TV or reading a chapter of a book or hanging out with friends. It doesn’t matter what you do in this chill-out zone, as long as it’s something fun and relaxing.
On the advice of the lecturers, I also like to try and aim for one day off a week. For me it’s Sunday. It’s the ultimate chill time, and if you do fall behind on anything, then you have this one day in the week that you can take a few hours to catch up. (It happens more than I like but thank the heavens Sunday’s there.)
So, if you’re struggling and left wondering where the time goes, remember to take advantage of your time. Be aware of the clock during your work hours and always set time to chill after a long day. You deserve the reward of a good giggle and solid rest for all your hard work and effort.
P.s. If you have any top-secret tips or discover a spare time-turner laying around, then please feel free to share below!
The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.
Authors bio: Hi, I’m Leanne and am currently working towards my dreams by studying History and English Joint BA. I have a passion for writing and love meeting new people to learn their stories.