Creating a schedule, plotting out a realistic plan to manage your workload and setting goals can seem like a luxury when you're in the thick of exams or bogged down by a part-time job, varsity sports or volunteering. That's why the beginning of a new school year—when you're still on the introductory chapter in all your courses and assignments have yet to start pouring in—is the perfect time to set out a time management plan and stop stress in its tracks.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Identify, record and prioritize your goals. Keep in mind your long-term, short-term, academic and life goals. This will help you establish an overall direction and assess whether or not you're on track.
- Reduce your stress by keeping those important tasks non-urgent. Don't procrastinate with non-urgent/non-important distractions like texting, watching TV or cleaning that is motivated solely by work avoidance!
- Make a schedule. Plotting your day out might seem to be the opposite of fun and spontaneity. But if you plan your time more effectively—you'll also have time to relax and get out!
- Keep your plan balanced. Don't go overboard trying to do everything (extra hours at your part-time job, too many sports commitments, etc.) and don't solely focus on your weakest subjects.
- Make time for yourself. It's important to take time out to do things that inspire you and make you happy—then you can return to your responsibilities refreshed and motivated.
The Responsible Gambling Council has learned a lot about time management and setting limits through our problem gambling prevention work. Too much of one thing can become a problem and lead to burn out and bad decision-making. One of our most important tips for limiting the risk of developing a gambling problem is to set a time limit. The idea behind this is: If you go into something with a plan, you've made your decision beforehand and it's easier to stick to.
This applies to student life too. If you manage your time and stick to your plan, you'll keep in control and have a better experience while at college or university.
If you need some help putting all this together, no problem: There are a lot of resources available to students right on campus or online! Check out NBCC's First Year Student Survival Guide, meet with an on-site counsellor or peer tutor, or use the gym facilities to beat stress and stay focused on your goals.