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How to Manage Your Time Effectively

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I think the hardest part of university, especially in first year, is striking a balance between your uni work and your social life, finding a way to juggle all the commitments you may have. Realistically, your priority will always be your social life when you’ve just started uni, and that's OK because first year rarely counts for much in most degrees.

However, it’s important that you find ways to balance your responsibilities soon, as your degree assignments are going to matter a lot more by the time you get to second and third year. If you’re struggling to manage your time effectively, here are a few tips on how to juggle everything successfully:

Avoid joining too many societies

I think this is key to making sure you're not too busy to handle both your uni work and your other activities. Joining just two or three societies where you have regular meetings means you can commit properly to them instead of spreading yourself too thinly by trying to go to everything. You want to make sure you’re able to have a few evenings where there’s nothing regularly planned so you can complete your uni work.

Make a timetable every week

Every Sunday, I make a timetable of the week where I start with the classes I always have, and then add the new things that are just for that specific week. It's helpful to see the week mapped out so you know exactly what you're doing at each hour.

Always make to-do lists to help you visualize your workload

A good way to do this is by having a whiteboard in your room. Buy some different colored pens and organize it by color with uni work being one color, extras being another etc. You should be able to find everything you need for this at a good stationery shop.

Keep a diary

Whether this is physical, or digital, it's good to have something you can have on you all the time to note down new plans and plan your time. You can then transfer this information to your weekly timetable when you get home. Look in shops for a good academic planner. Bullet journaling is also a fun way to keep a diary. Here's an example of a page spread:

Set alarms on your phone to act as reminders

For important events and meetings, you can set reminders on your phone so that you definitely won't forget to go. This is good if you've accidentally left your diary and timetable at home.

Hopefully these tips will mean you can organize your time well and manage to do everything you want to do. Got any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by Katie Roach
Katie is a third year student at UCL studying Philosophy. She is originally from Kent but now lives in London with 3 other Philosophy students. She discusses her experiences and provides advice on a range of topics.

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