Time Management & Productivity
Learning how to manage your time and increase your productivity will provide an incredible benefit to your overall success in graduate school. Using time management strategies can help you reach desired goals more quickly and with less stress. The following section offers some of the best articles and advice on time-management strategies.
Strategies for Time Management
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Thinking about all the work you have to do can be overwhelming, but the best way to overcome a seemingly enormous task in size and effort is to simply take it one step at a time.
Break it Down
Breaking down what you need to do into smaller increments is a fundamental part of time management.
Figure out what your most urgent needs are and schedule accordingly. Providing structure to how you approach things is crucial, and there’s no sense in focusing on projects that are not a priority.
Learn to say "No"
Focus only on the big things. Why overextend yourself to commitments that don’t support your overall goals? Take a look at the big picture and figure out what matters most. Cut down on activities that do not provide you direct results.
Fixed-Scheduled Productivity is the concept of setting aside time each week (say 8:30-5pm) and focusing solely on your workload during that time. After your set work time, the rest of the day is time reserved only for you. The beauty of this time management strategy is that once it becomes routine it helps streamline your work, increases your ability to work ahead, and in doing so reduces overall stress.
In order to make fixed-scheduled productivity work you must:
- Focus only on importaant tasks
- Reduce ineffecient habits
- Adhere to the schedule
- Exercise discipline, and stop procrastinating
Block scheduling is a relatively straightforward concept that is widely used for time management. Simply schedule your day according to your projects and how much time they will require. This notion of actually “blocking your time” forces you to plot out exact time frames for accomplishing things and in doing so will help you increase focus and productivity for the task at hand.
If you’re an ardent procrastinator (Link to page on procrastination) and you aren’t convinced that time management skills can work for you, try sticking to small commitments and then build those commitments up over time. The truth is, time management is about discipline and determination, two skills that can be developed over time with practice.