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Tips for Managing Your Time in Grad School

If you're a teacher who is in pursuit of your Master's and still balancing working full-time, use this list of tips on how to manage the little time you have tobe the best at both teaching and being a student.

1. Keep Track of Your Time

It seems obvious until you do it. Use one week to take a close look and determine how much time your daily activities take and plan a schedule for yourself in such a way that every activity is accounted for in order to truly understand what you can take on in your day given the time you have. This includes accounting time for activities such a showering, eating, laundry, and familial activities if you have one.

According to several grad students, budgeting their time like so helps them best prioritize with work and family responsibilities and the responsibilities that come with being a student like paper deadlines and exams. It also helps facilitate organization, another necessary part of being so busy.

2. Limit Distracted Time

Given how busy you are, the fifteen minutes of downtime you have here and there that you are apt to spend surfing the web or zoning out is crucial time you can use to review notes, edit a paper, grade student material, or look over anticipated lesson plans for your classroom.

3. Limit Social Media

On that note, do your best to limit your social media use during your busiest times in school and work. Delete your social media apps and replace them with productivity tools so that you're not tempted to get distracted.

Even if you only use social media at night before bed, looking at a bright screen before bed has proven to distract you from a good night's sleep. You can probably agree that a good night's sleep is another crucial component to your ability to have such a busy schedule. 

Use this list of the best productivity tools to decide what will be best for you. 

4. Take Care of Yourself

You're going to grad school to better yourself and your profession, so it's important that you don't lose sight of the biggest picture of all- taking care of yourself.

This means getting a good night's sleep- no less than seven hours a night. Some suggestions for doing so are ensuring you have a sleep-time routine down, meaning you wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. By planning your schedule, this should be no problem. Find more sleep tips here.

This also means making sure you have a good diet. It can be tempting to succumb to the easiness and cheapness of fast food and easy-to-grab snacks, but this is not going to help you in the long run and is likely to make you feel lethargic and unmotivated throughout your busy days.

Account for time at the beginning or end of your week to prep healthy meals for yourself. By taking a day, say Sunday, to prep and package your meals for the week, you won't have to stress about what's for lunch on a day-to-day basis. You can grab and go, but it'll be far more healthy than fast food alternatives. 

5. In the Classroom, Take Advantage of Resources

Being a teacher is a busy task in itself, so add on being a student too and the task gets that much busier. In order to keep up with your work as a teacher, find ways to use the resources available to you to save time wherever you can.

This could mean using outside resources to find solid lesson plans for you to use or even asking teachers in your department to share their lesson plans with you, too. By using good lesson plans for your fellow peers, you save some time in having to create many new ones. 

Also, take advantage of using who is there to help you. This could mean help to laminate, cut, etc.

By following these preliminary tips, you are likely to be on your way to successfully managing your time as a grad school student and teacher.

Share your tips in the comments below.





Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor