Thursday, January 29, 2015

6 Tips for Time-Management Strategy

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By Sangeetha Shanmugham
World Education Services

International students in the U.S. often take a full slate of courses and participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, from campus organizations to club sports teams. However, unlike their domestic peers, international students also face the added tasks of settling into a new environment and familiarizing themselves with a new education system. These processes can be daunting. It’s vital for international students to manage their time effectively in order to stay on top of their studies. WES Student Advisor is here to help with six tips for effective time management.

1. Make a plan: Outline your month (or, if you can, your semester) well in advance. Allot chunks of time during the day exclusively for study. That way you know you’ll always have a chance to catch up on homework or prepare for tests. 

2. Prioritize your tasks: Let’s face it, your chemistry mid-term in March is probably more important than your intramural volleyball game in April. Make sure you tackle the essential tasks first. Once they’re out of the way, you can move on to other work and activities.

3. Practice effective study techniques: Here’s a word that most students are familiar with: procrastination. We all do it. The secret to being a successful student is to manage procrastination. If you need to do a homework assignment on your computer, and you think you’ll get sucked into the Internet vortex of time-wasting websites, then use website blockers like SelfControl or StayFocused to increase productivity and stay focused.

4. Avoid overload: It’s easy to take on more tasks than you can handle. Learn to say “no,” and remember that it’s all about quality, not quantity. This applies to your life outside classes as well; if you don’t have time to study for your big test on Monday and attend three parties over the weekend, then learn to say “no” to those invites. Instead, find some time next weekend to catch up with friends when you’re not so overwhelmed.

5. Plan everything in small chunks of time: This makes it easier to follow a schedule. It’s the way our mind perceives work – a smaller task feels more attainable than a bigger one. If you have three hours’ worth of calculus homework, try approaching it in 30-minute chunks.

6. Make room for downtime: Make sure you’ve penciled in some time for fun! After all, you moved to a new country to learn and experience exciting things. Take some time out every week to explore the city, meet new friends or catch up on a hobby. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful in developing a time-management strategy. Take a look at them to ensure you have a productive semester. Good luck!

A Simple Effective Time Management System

Smart Tips

Getting Past Perfection

Time Management Video


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