With the arrival of April comes lots of change – warmer weather, spring flowers, longer days. For many students, April also brings along some dread; the end of the semester is near and that means lots of deadlines. Projects and papers are due, labs need to be wrapped up, and you may be trying to track down letters of recommendation from faculty. There’s lots to do and it seems like little time to get it all done.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay productive in the home stretch!
- Create a schedule – It’s time to take out some actual paper and pencil and write a list of what needs to get done. Compartmentalize what you have to do into categories, identify how long it will take to complete each task, and then prioritize. Remember to keep your goals attainable and realistic. Remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day!
- Try a new location – do you find yourself completing your work in the same location day after day? Penn has so many places designed for work; take advantage of the nicer weather to take a stroll across campus and settle in at a new location. Here are some suggestions: http://www.thedp.com/article/2015/08/guide-to-best-study-spots-on-campus
- Make time for other interests and activities. Facetime with your grandma, get outside for a run to enjoy the weather, or read a book that isn’t for school. See suggestion #1 and build this downtime into your schedule!
- Try doing your work another way when you get stuck – if you usually type, try hand writing some notes. A white board can be a great way to get ideas out and to visually see your thoughts.
- If you must surf social media, take a break and try spending some time on LinkedIn. Update your profile and connect with those in fields of interest. While this may not help you with your end of the semester deadlines, it will be invaluable in the future.
The time management skills you can develop as a student will serve you well in whatever career or profession you chose, so while you may be stressing out over the work you have to do, rest assured you are simultaneously developing excellent skills that will be useful in the future.