Time management tips

How do you find time to do it all, school work, a job and social life?

May 29, 2019
Author: Annette Lucas

Tips on becoming a master in time management

There is so much going on at college or university that finding time to study, participate in extracurricular activities, work and socialize can seem like an impossible schedule to keep up with.  Four Vancouver Island University students shared their tips for balancing school, work and fun.


Kim Barrett, Bachelor of Science Biology graduate, says being organized worked for her.

“Having a plan for tackling whatever assignment or exam is coming up makes it easier to incorporate friends and fun into your life. However, it's important to remember that we all drop the ball sometimes. I’ve learned to not be so harsh on myself for forgetting to do something, not getting the grade I wanted, watching three hours of YouTube videos when I was supposed to be studying, or not being as healthy as I wanted. These things, while important to avoid, are all a part of growing into the person we want to be. Everyone else is experiencing the same thing, especially the YouTube part.”


Victoria Treacy, Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate, says recognize you are doing the best you can.

“As a student, we feel the need to know everything, but that’s impossible. The best piece of advice I received is to recognize when you have done enough. Even if you study for hours, there will always be a mystery question. As a nursing student, I was tasked with looking after others, but in order to do that I needed to look after myself. What helped me was to create calendars plastered to my wall which always included spiritual time, church or meditation, physical activity, and friends and family time.  Treat yourself once in a while. Budget for a meal out and always ask if there is a student discount – there usually is.”


Trevor Dickinson, double major in Geography and First Nations Studies, says a day planner can help manage your week.

“I learned very quickly time is a precious commodity when you are at university. The VIU Students’ Union provides all students with an excellent planner. Keeping track of assignment deadlines and test schedules allowed me to successfully manage my workload. Fitting in time to relax, spend time outdoors, and have fun, volunteer on the Students’ Union Executive Board and other clubs as a busy student was critical to the academic success I enjoyed at VIU.”


Dylan Thiessen, Master of Community Planning graduate student, says getting involved on campus and making friends with classmates creates a supportive community.

“Being around the campus helped me stay motivated academically. When I attended an on–campus event I would come an hour or two early to work on assignments. Get a job on campus. Campus friends are a bit more understanding when you have to focus on school. Try not to overexert yourself academically to the detriment of your social life, but on the other hand, don’t be scared of missing out on something because you feel you should study or work on a paper. Be honest with yourself, re-evaluate your schedule, make adjustments and carry on.”


Put the strategies of the students who have been there to use

Create your own calendar and write things down so you can see the big picture in one glance and adjust where necessary. Know when you need to get down to business and when you need to have some fun to give your routine balance. Remember, you are not alone in attempting to manage a chaotic schedule while earning your degree.

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