As a student who is studying to obtain your USMLE Step 1 qualification, chances are that you already know how demanding medical school is – especially if you’re working at a part-time job as well. Although the amount of time spent in classes and studying certainly doesn’t leave much time for anything else, it’s important that you take some time out so that you can avoid reaching burnout stage.
Below are some tips that will help you get the most out of each day without becoming totally overwhelmed:
Prioritization is Crucial
Learning to prioritize what is most important will help you achieve as much as possible each day. Although you’re currently studying, keep in mind that while your studies are important, they should not be your only focus. In fact, your main priority should be to look after yourself. If your mind and body are over-tired, you won’t be able to study properly anyway.
Your studies should be next in line after your physical and mental wellbeing, and work should come after that. Students who put their physical, mental and emotional needs before that of their studies usually find it easier to get through their studies than those who focus on the books alone.
Ensure that Everything is Scheduled
Putting a schedule together that contains everything you need to do will help ensure that there is enough time to get through it all each day. Many individuals often don’t know that there is a degree of free time in their days until they see it on a planner page.
Purchase a daily planner and write in the events that cannot be rescheduled first. This can include aspects such as work shifts, classes and other appointments that might come up. Once this is done, start filling in your study time slots – ensure that they are evenly spaced throughout each week. Leave room in your schedule for some down time each day as well, preferably in the last hour or so before going to bed.
Lastly, you’ll be able to see where you can fit time in to socialize and spend time with friends. Perhaps you’re free on a Sunday and can spend time with friends or family then or have a drink at the bar with some fellow students one evening.
Knowing your Limits is Important
Knowing when to say “no” is extremely important where your mental and emotional wellbeing is concerned. As such, you need to give a considerable amount of thought to whether you’ll be able to cope with full-time classes and part time work if necessary.
If you feel that you’re already doing as much as you can comfortably cope with, refrain from taking on additional responsibilities – especially if you’re going to be sacrificing sleep to do so. If you want to preserve your physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing while studying towards your USMLE Step 1 qualification, the phrase, “everything in moderation,” is key – especially where time-management is concerned.