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We all know how challenging it can be to juggle home and work life, and that’s without adding studying into the mix. But, why not do something for you? Expand your knowledge, learn something new and broaden your horizons to boost your career prospects. At Chester, we know that time management is key to success, so we’ve got you covered with some key hacks to tick all of the boxes for managing your time effectively!

Are you working a part-time job to fund your studies, a working parent or do you just need some extra support to manage your workload in balance with your social life? Then, look no further than our time management tips to making your postgraduate life easier.

Be smart.

Time management spans far beyond completing a to-do list. Yes, ticking all those boxes may feel like a huge accomplishment at the time, but is it sustainable? In the long term, being realistic about your work-life balance and setting attainable targets in order of priority will help you to maintain a positive approach to your productivity and enhance the value of the work you create.

And, lets be honest, this won’t just happen overnight - reflecting on your time and experiences should be a regular habit that you implement into your everyday life in order to proactively adapt your schedule to suit you. Accepting that we don’t need to be on-the-ball every minute of the day is key, so if you’re continually coming to a standstill at 4pm, try altering your routine – complete your more complex tasks first or maybe implement more regular short breaks. By setting new goals and organising work practices, you’ll reduce your barriers to productivity such as feeling stressed and overwhelmed and instead, take control of your deadlines, learn faster and feel more content with your achievements.

Time block.

As cliché as it sounds, failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and that’s why organising your to-do’s into bitesize blocks of time is so important. It’s no secret that postgraduate studies are complex with research projects, tutor meetings, coursework and exams, and for some that may be alongside working a part-time job to support your family, studies and lifestyle. We’ve all been in a situation of writing down an impulsive, never-ending task list and felt deflated when we don’t complete it but it’s important to remember that incorporating regular breaks into your day is also productive, and rest and recovery is key to achieving your goals. A leading time management advisor said that we should set ourselves a maximum of five hours of work to do in a seven-and-a-half-hour day. By blocking this into one-hour chunks of priority tasks, you’ll feel on top of your time! You could use Google Calendar, create an excel spreadsheet or even rely on the trusty pen and paper to be creative with your timetable.

Prioritise productivity over procrastination.

It’s no secret that our minds like to exaggerate a simple task, you tell yourself you’re too busy or life gets in the way. You keep putting it off and before you know it, you’ve got a matter of hours to complete an assignment on deadline. The truth is procrastination hits us all, but ditching the excuses is your first step to setting yourself up for success. Go through your tasks in order of importance and urgency to enable you to organise your time-blocking, as previously discussed. Simplify the task at hand by removing yourself from distractions, save social media scrolling for later, and reward yourself once you’ve completed your task by doing something you enjoy. Using this mentality will help you to focus on working as hard as you can for a shorter interval, recognise your work-life balance and prioritise productivity over procrastination!

Live a lot, not a little.

We all have off-days where we may lack motivation, want to do something different and look for any distraction from work. And, it’s important to remember that that’s ok, we’re only human after all! Self-care is just as important a task on your to-do list and is your first and foremost priority. Remember why you started, and what you envision to achieve!

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