Talking about time management can immediately be stress-inducing as a student. You have so much going on in between being a student, a student leader, and experiencing your own personal growth that when your supervisor, professor, guardian, friend, or mentor looks at you and says “are you managing your time properly?”… Sometimes it’s hard not to roll your eyes. 🙄
When I’m in stress mode, I find myself fully believing that I have no time to complete my tasks… but then I start to think of the 3 hours of Netflix I accidentally watched and the 2 hours I spent scrolling on my phone before bed time. Listen, we are all human and need that down time to recharge our brains, but maybe there is a way we can manage our time so that we do not feel “guilty” for taking that time for ourselves.
Let me paint a picture for you using my own experiences. When I was my busiest in college, I was taking the max amount of credits, auditing a class, working as an RA, working a work study job, playing in a music ensemble, and participating in a dance club (thank goodness video recordings of that do not exist). I had AWFUL time management skills until I met my best friend, we will call her, Rose. Rose had a rule that if she had plans to hang out with her friends on a Saturday, then Friday would be a homework day instead of having hang out sessions every weekend night. This little act was truly a game changing mentality. This rule that she made for herself was a form of amazing time management. She knew that if she did not follow this rule, her stress would be through the roof because she would not get her tasks completed on just a Sunday evening. Now, as a Ph.D. student, I find myself still using Rose’s rule in my time management plan so that I can complete my tasks in a timely manner and not feel guilty about some of the time that I take out of the week to recharge.
So…as a student leader, how do we become amazing time management humans? First, consider reflecting on the following questions:
- How you think you spend most of your time. Is it studying? Hanging out with friends? Doing RA duties?
- Can you identify activities that you do that may take up a little bit more time than they should?
- What are activities you do that you know require lots of time? How are you currently prioritizing those activities?
After reflecting on these questions, watch this video to learn of effective ways to begin implementing useful time management strategies:
Being an amazing time management human like Rose takes practice, practice, practice. Sometimes, we are amazing and stay on track with completing all of our goals. Other times, life happens, we need to take a break, and restart–that’s okay too! What is important is that you find a time management system that works best for you. Maybe you are a google sheet queen, a to-do list jester, or a bullet journal king… whoever you are, understand that to be successful in the RA role and beyond, you must intentionally think about how you are managing your time.
- Why is time management important in your role?
- What is one time management goal that you have?