Our Bristol Futures Student Advocates come from every faculty in the university, and are here to support you to grow your skills and become an even better student.
We asked them to share their top tips for time management. Here’s what they said…
Pretend that you’re working a 9 to 5 Job
My top tip on how to manage time is to always work from 9-5 on your studies (if you don’t already have a 9-5 job!). How this works is that from Monday to Friday, you should do your uni work, attend classes, make notes, or revise between 9am and 5pm. This is a great tactic as if you find that you’re only in uni in the morning, then you can come home and work till 5pm and still enjoy the rest of your day! On the contrast, if you’ve been in uni straight from 9am till 5pm, then odds are that it was a pretty long and tiresome day and so you can rest assured that you’ve worked your 9-5 already and deserve to rest for the remainder of your day and recharge! I used this studying tactic for 5 years in dental school and it’s meant that all of my evenings are free, I don’t have to cram to catch-up on revision and I can spend my weekends however I like 🥳. Sina, 5th year Dental student
I agree with Sina, I started trying to pretend it’s a 9 to 5 job recently and it’s really been helping me. I still often go over time because there’s just so much to do but I still try and it’s really helpful. At least to try and work a “normal” amount of hours and not cut back on sleep. Martina, 2nd year Medical Biochemistry
I schedule societies’ activities, the time I spend with friends, work out, etc I still have a lot of online lectures so what I find useful is listing down all the ones I need to do for the week and also writing down how long they will take me (it’s even more useful if your professors give you a rough indication of how long they think it’s going to take). I then schedule it on my calendar (I like using Google Calendar because it syncs across devices really quickly) and try to stick to the plan. For example, for the readings, if my professor suggested it should take 10 minutes I try to stick to that because it probably means I don’t need to be spending more time than that on it. This way I know I don’t need to be studying it in a lot of details but just read through it to get an overall idea.
When planning I like to leave some extra time, so I either schedule online lectures as longer than planned or actually schedule in a two/three-hour slot on a Friday afternoon that I’m leaving free, this way if I fall behind I know I have some extra time without having to work on weekends and if I don’t fall behind it just means I have more free time! Martina, 2nd year Medical Biochemistry
Make sure you are aware of all your deadlines and what to do for each one. Then make a plan based on that. Try to finish your task a few days before the hard deadline just to give yourself some extra time for any unexpected situations. Manshika, 3rd year Economics and Finance
Take advantage of all the moments in your day
There are many brief periods over the course of your day where you are waiting around e.g. on a commute, for an event to begin, for meeting up with a friend, etc.. By adding all these up, it can result in a substantial amount of time. You can turn all these periods where you are usually just waiting around into a useful source of time if you make your work mobile and accessible at all times. I personally always have some work available offline on my phone to read, or quiz myself on, so I make the most of my time. Emma, 4th year Veterinary Science
Bristol Futures Student Advocates run peer support sessions for students in their faculty. Check out the Study Skills Blackboard page to see what’s coming up.