Between going to classes, studying, and going about the everyday rigors of life – especially if you also have a job – it probably seems as if you never have enough time to get everything done. Fortunately, there are plenty of time management tips that can help you get more done in the time you have without sacrificing sleep or time for yourself.
Use a Monthly, Weekly, and Daily
Planners are a great tool to have in your medical school arsenal, and they come in many styles and price ranges. Ideally, you should keep a planner with a monthly, weekly, and daily view so you can have an overview of what’s coming up as well as a way to plan your day. Start by labeling the current month with your important exams and lectures, then head over to the current week and add these to that layout, as well. Then, every evening, review your weekly layout and create a schedule for the next day. By scheduling your entire day hour-by-hour, you will discover that you really can get things done as long as you stay focused.
Multitask When Possible
Though it’s hard to do much multitasking as a medical student, it is absolutely possible. Here are a few tips you can use:
- Record lectures and listen to them when you commute or exercise. Some people find that listening to recorded lectures on their morning jog or even as they commute helps them discover things they may not have heard during the actual lecture.
- Meal prep for a week in advance. This is one of the best time-saving tips of them all, and the good news is that it’ll also save you money. Plan your shopping trips in such a way that you have enough food to make two or three meals instead of just one. Then freeze your extra portions for healthy, wholesome dinners on the fly.
- Study with friends. Social time is vitally important to your overall wellbeing, so make a few friends in your classes and turn part of your social time into study time. This will benefit everyone in the long run.
“I’ll study an extra few hours tomorrow,” or “I’ll be okay if I only get four hours of sleep tonight,” are common among medical students. Unfortunately, what gets put off until tomorrow rarely gets done, and doing this regularly just puts even more stress on you the following day. Training yourself to stop procrastinating takes time and self-discipline, but it is well worth it in the end. Consider rewarding yourself for completing your list of daily to-dos without putting anything off. For example, for every day you manage to do this, give yourself $5 to spend at the restaurant on campus you’ve been dying to try.
Medical school is tough, and there’s no doubt about that. If you feel like you are constantly on the go but still not accomplishing as much as you should, you are absolutely not alone. The tips listed above are some of the absolute best for making the most of the time available to you without sacrificing your well being.