Do you have a hard time fitting everything into your day? Is it tough to plan ahead when you’re already studying all hours? You may often wish for more time, but you only get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds each day. At Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (Ross Vet) It’s incredibly important to focus on time management, especially in an accelerated program. Read on to learn more about our advice for staying on top of assignments and exams.
Helpful Tips to Time Management:
- Create a realistic study schedule
- Tackle the hard tasks early and reach out (early!) when you need to
- Write down your study plan and practice it
- Plan for more time than you think you really need
- Pause for knowledge checks (every 20 minutes) and take breaks
Create a realistic study schedule: If you think of the hours you spend each day eating, sleeping, attending classes, seeing friends, commuting, and more, you don’t have much time left to study. So, you need to make those study hours count. Each week prepare your schedule. Write down calendar items such as assignments and exams. Review and add any items that carry over from the previous week that still needs to get done. Add any out-of-school and extra-curricular activities for the week. Finally, note down the day and time for each study session, study groups, or appointments with TAs or tutors. Study daily to avoid getting behind. It is possible to cram for a DMV program.
Tackle the hard tasks early and reach out (early!) when you need to: Start the habit of beginning your studying with the most difficult, or important, subject, or task first. Tackling the hardest subjects first, while you're still fresh and energized, will make the remainder of your studies much easier. As you progress through your DVM program, it's wise to rely on the help, expertise, and knowledge of others to assist you with the learning process. Tutors, study groups, and faculty are useful resources for tackling complex subjects and making the most effective use of your time. The pace, volume, and complexity of an accelerated professional program is unlike what you’ve experienced previously and takes everyone some adjustment.
Write down your study plan and practice it: You are more than just a student. Your daily life may also include clubs and extracurricular activities, wellness activities, spending time with friends and family, taking care of your pets, and more. Inevitably you are going to spend some time talking on the phone, hanging out with friends, or watching TV, but for how many hours? Controlling the time you spend on such activities can help you reserve more time for important things. For each activity, you need to have short-medium- and long-term goals, and you need to work out which roles might clash – and then decide what’s important.
Plan for more time than you think really need: Spend a good 20 to 30 minutes allocating time for very small and specific tasks for every day. Browse through the resources you are studying from – whether they are books or online – to familiarize yourself with them. This will give you a good idea of what is achievable, so you can set daily goals that are within reach. You can't plan for everything. Challenges are bound to pop up and certain tasks and activities take longer than you think, so plan accordingly and be flexible. Time management is 50% of the battle.
Pause for knowledge checks (every 20 minutes) and take breaks: Break your study time into smaller, more digestible chunks. Be sure to pause and reflect on what you’re reviewing. And take breaks! It's okay to get up for a snack, or just to get up and walk around, but make sure to return to your studies.
Being a DVM student can be challenging and it’s important to take care of yourself. You’ve heard this before, but let’s say it again. Get exercise. Eat right. Get plenty of sleep. If you're not at your peak, you won't be able to focus or concentrate, nor will you have the energy or stamina to get your studies completed efficiently.
Remember to be kind to yourself! We often put immense pressure on ourselves to perform and self-criticize when we aren’t doing as well as we would like. Practicing self-compassion has been shown to decrease stress and improve productivity. By being kinder to ourselves it can help in the learning process.
Need additional resources to be successful? The Ross Vet Student Success Center (SSC) offers high-quality academic support programs and services to help you succeed as a student Our services include individual study-strategy appointments, interactive learning workshops, academic coaching, and more. Be sure to visit the Ross Vet Student Success Center.