It’s coming to the end of the school year, which means, for many of you, it’s “finals season.” With what feels like 148,927,826 final papers due (give or take a few) and that many more final exams, final projects, and other final end-of-the-semester things to worry about, how do you find the time?
To do so, you have to MAKE the time, not find the time.
Sadly, there is no way to make days longer or for weeks to magically appear between now and your deadlines. Unless a way to bend time is found, there is no way to add extra days or hours to what you already have, or to recoup “lost” time. There is no two ways about it, you have a lot of things to do, and a very limited amount of time to do them. So, it’s crucial to make use of the time you have, and to do so efficiently. Time management means exactly that: to manage your time available. In order to do so, you will have to prioritize, by dividing your time appropriately.
Dividing your time “appropriately” means to devote the appropriate amount of time to the tasks at hand. The appropriate time, however, means the ACTUAL time you need to complete a task. So, your mission is to be honest with yourself. Don’t tell yourself you work best under pressure when you… well, don’t. In the same way you know your paper isn’t going to write itself, know your own strengths and weaknesses; if you know pulling an all-nighter isn’t going to end well for you and for your grade, then don’t do it. Time isn’t going to magically expand itself and you’re not going to magically work at a vastly different pace than you’re normally used to. If you genuinely feel you do work best under pressure, that’s okay, too– but, think twice about it. Is this really the case? And, if it can be avoided, why would you want to put yourself through that?
More time is ALWAYS better than too little time. By managing your time consciously and honestly, you’re allowing yourself to have more time, time being one of the most crucial factors to improving your skills as a writer. How, you say? This is how. So, again, be honest with yourself. The more conscious you are about how much time you have available and how much time it will actually take to complete your assignment fully and completely, the more likely you are to do it.
So, sit down with your planner, Google Calendar, or what-have-you, and make an assessment: How much work is due? How much time do you actually have? How can you safely allocate the appropriate amount of time to each task? This is the first step to actually managing your time effectively. By doing so, you’ll be in a much better position to not only survive your hectic end-of-semester schedule, but to totally ace it.