Surviving the End-of-Term Crunch: Time Management Tips for November

As the end of the winter term approaches and you have a slew of coursework deadlines to meet, it is important to have some time management techniques that will help you get ahead.

It is a crucial time of the year for all students, but it is important to have the ability to take a step back, take a breath, and look after your mental health. To help you with that, we’ve put together a guide on time management strategies for students, which can be great for maximising your potential, staying on top of your workload, and making time for socialising and relaxing.

  1. Create a calendar

Coffe and calendar planner

The best way to maximise your time is to know exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it. As early as you can in the term, put together your diary and calendar, with clear deadline dates for coursework. You can also take it a step further and add your group and study sessions, your revision time, as well as social events and other commitments that are extra-curricular. For some people, a digital calendar is a good way to receive notifications and reminders, for others a physical calendar in a visible place works. We’d recommend you have both, so you are always covered and can see your upcoming schedule and never be caught by surprise.

  1. Use the tools available

Don’t be afraid to use whatever tools help you to get the job done. There are different ways to approach this, like ensuring you have enough stationery, folders, notepads, planners etc. All the things that you don’t want to run out of halfway through an important essay. There are some excellent student discounts for planners and other stationery, so keep an eye out for what you need.

For those students who prefer digital tools to help with time management, find the right type of programme for you, whether it’s a free version of Planny, or something a bit more involved like Trello or Asana.

  1. Take thorough notes

Person with brown shirt taking notes on a planner from a book they're reading

One way to stay ahead with your studies is to ensure that you take thorough notes in lectures. There are different ways to achieve this, including recording lectures (always ask permission before doing this), and making notes of keywords, phrases, and concepts.  If you want to go back to it in greater depth in your own time, then underlining and highlighting important parts of the lecture will be super useful. And finally, do try to go out of your comfort zone and ask questions if you need to go over something again. Making friends on your course and sharing notes is another way to ensure you don’t miss anything important in your note-taking.

  1. Learn how to prioritise

Female and male students putting sticky notes on white board to prioritise task

When you have lots of little tasks to do alongside bigger goals and targets, it can be difficult to prioritise and make sure you do things in the correct order to maximise your time.

By putting down a clear list of deadlines in your calendar, you can create a colour scheme (or whatever system works for you) to help you visualise which deadlines are first, what tasks will take you the longest, and in what order you should attempt each task. Ticking off fast, simple tasks first, sometimes helps to get the ball rolling and keep you in a good flow. Some people respond by tackling the largest task first and working backwards. Find what works for you and make sure you learn how to prioritise – realistic goals and flexibility are key to making the most of your time.

  1. Make time for yourself

Students relaxing on the beach

Time management for students isn’t just about writing essays, revising, and meeting course deadlines, it is also about finding your perfect life-and-work balance. In order to make the most of your study time, you need to be well-rested. A well-rounded person will have both an active social life, and a good set of friends, but will also make time to rest and focus on themselves. Finding this balance will stand you in good stead not just for university, but for life.

  1. Look after your mental health

girl in red jumper taking a mental health walk

It is important to always keep an eye on your mental health, as it can be very stressful at university, especially during the crunch times towards the end of term. If you are feeling stressed about your deadlines or anything to do with your university life, there are things you can do to keep on top of everything:

  • Talk to people – talk to a friend, a family member, or your tutor about the pressures you are feeling. It is always better to talk.
  • Stay active – a bit of light exercise every day, even if it is just a 20-minute walk around the block, is great for your body and mind.
  • Build in some ‘me’ time – make sure you create some space in your calendar to relax and recharge your batteries, no matter how busy you are.
  • Ask for help – there are fantastic mental health organisations that can help you, and you can always seek advice and guidance from your local GP or Students’ Union.
  1. Make the most of your student accommodation

Two people playing board game Monopoly in their student accommodation

Having the comfort and safety net of a nice place to live is always a bonus for a student. Knowing you live in a comfortable student accommodation gives you a solid foundation, a cosy place to rest and recharge your batteries. You can also invite your friends over to hang out and catch up – work/life balance is key, as we said. Last but not least, having a study space to call your own will certainly help you stay focused when deadline season really hits.

All of these tips are important to help you with your student time management skills and to make sure you meet your targets and deadlines during the crunch period of the university year in November.

If you need help, never be afraid to speak to someone, and be sure that you plan carefully and fully focus on your studies within a framework that allows you to also rest, relax and socialise.

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