The NotQuiteDoctor’s Time Management Advice
Can you tell us about your scheduling/time management? Thank you! and Happy New Year!
Sure. I don’t really know how to answer this because I am not time management wizard, but I have found a few things that help.
First off, this program called Self Control is a godsend. It blocks websites you find distracting, like tumblr for example. I use it regularly to make sure I don’t let myself wander. We all know how that is…. “let me just see if so-and-so replied to my facebook message…” then an hour later after you are caught up on the newsfeed drama you have gotten nowhere on studying. This program helps with that.
Next, set a timer. For awhile I would set a timer on my phone and every time I got up for a snack, went to the bathroom, answered the phone, etc. I would stop the timer and then restart it when I went back to studying. That is an amazingly insightful experience. It will help you realize how much of your study time isn’t being used for study time.
As a follow up to the previous recommendation, remove the distractions I now keep my phone on silent or in the other room. I set goals for my snack breaks (i.e. study for the next hour then 15 minute break). I also set goals for larger breaks. Usually there is some show I am into (last block it was Breaking Bad) and so I will make a deal with myself. Study hard for three hours or until a set time and then allow yourself a longer break to watch your show, or read on a book, or knit or what ever it is you may love.
When you consistently meet that goal, increase it (if you need to, this advice is really for med students who have to increase their ability to sit and study for long periods of time as they come closer to studying for Step 1). If 3 hours is easy, try 4. This works really well for me since my tests are every 8 weeks. That means the closer I get to the test the more I have to study.
I also recommend taking days off. The biggest goal of time management is getting your work accomplished with time to spare. That spare time should be used to enjoy life. If you live inside of books 7 days a week it will be miserable… trust me on this. Try to find ways to take time off. Maybe that is only half a Saturday or Wednesday nights. Just make sure to get away from the studying and have you time.
Best of luck and happy new year,
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