Welcome Back to the new school year! We all start off the term with high hopes of losing bad habits and starting anew. I know that I do. My big issue is my continued effort to have better work/life balance. For students, balancing courses, work, and their personal lives is also an issue. I am going to suggest that keeping a schedule in a calendar (analog or digital) is key to staying organized. I know that I have previously suggested that you organize your study time. It is worth repeating.
Every Fall students contact me and ask me, “How should I study?” My answer is usually the same, but the first thing that I note is that this is what I see the strong students do. Not all of us can cram and have success. I know some can do this, but I am not speaking to them. I suggest that you place study time in your calendar and that you guard this. Then, note all your due dates and place time for research and writing in your calendar. Once you have done this, think about your work schedule and what is really manageable for you. I also suggest that each day you set up time to read. I like to divide my time by hours. One of my mentors used to be a lawyer and he is now an academic. He sets up his time in 15 minute increments. The billing method from the law firm endures! What this also does for him is that he can block out multiple blocks of time for a project.
Once you have your study time figured out it is important to also add down time. Note time for coffee, walk around the building, and take a break. Keep to the break time, though. Do not let it turn to taking the entire afternoon off, as you will pay the price for this if this becomes part of your pattern. I am not suggesting that you turn into rigid Rita, but that you keep better track of your study time. You will be surprised with the amount of time that you can have if you are better with your time management. With this, I wish everyone a great term. I am going to try to keep to my deviceless Monday evening and set some time to read.