As I reflect on my journey since arriving at the University of Edinburgh to pursue my Masters in Marketing, I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have come my way. From serving as a Student Ambassador and a Digital Marketing Intern, to proudly being the Programme Representative for my cohort, I've had the privilege of immersing myself fully in University life. Additionally, I dedicated over 5 months to being a part of the fantastic Speakeasy committee, promoting effective communication within our student community. And not forgetting about the incredible adventures I've had! I've explored 15 towns and cities across the UK, enriching my cultural understanding of this country and broadening my horizons - all while juggling my studies and soaking up the best of University life.
You’re probably wondering how I managed all of these responsibilities without feeling overwhelmed. Well, in this blog, I share some insights on time management that have helped me navigate this journey successfully.
1. Creating a Schedule
This tip is a classic and to put it simply, it works. I establish a daily or weekly schedule to outline all my tasks, commitments, and activities and order them by priority. This means my digital calendars and trusty to-do lists are essentially my best friends but they help me to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
2. Breaking Bigger Tasks into Smaller Steps
Whenever I face a complex or overwhelming task, I break it down into bite-sized pieces. Doing this makes the journey much smoother and less intimidating. Think of it like climbing a mountain one step at a time and getting the satisfaction when you meet different check-points along the way.
3. Implementing the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique involves working in focused bursts of 25 minutes with short breaks in between. An added twist that works wonders for me is assigning specific tasks to each Pomodoro session. This way, I can set goals achievable goals within each 25 minute slot. It's a structured method to stay motivated and crush your to-do list without the dreaded procrastination eating up your time.
4. Learning to say "No"
While it's tempting to accept every opportunity that comes your way, learning when to politely decline is crucial for maintaining balance and avoiding burnout. I make sure to set clear boundaries and make thoughtful choices about my commitments. This means I can dedicate my energy to the projects and experiences that matter most to me and avoid being stretched too thin.
5. Knowing Self-Care is Non-Negotiable
Let's not forget that success won't happen if you don't take care of yourself first! I made self-care a priority, both physically and mentally and it has played a vital role in sustaining my productivity and well-being. Whether that's taking regular breaks or engaging in activities that bring you joy, self care is super important.
I want to emphasise that everyone's time management techniques are different and what works for me might not work for you. But, hopefully these insights offer some inspiration to help you navigate the complexities of university life while balancing jobs and an active social life too.
Khushi Kabra is an MSc Marketing student (2022-23).