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Time Management: Volunteering, School, Work?

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For any undergrads or recent graduates- any time management tips? 


I'm trying to juggle keeping up my GPA, working, being active in clubs, research, and shadowing/volunteering.


Besides the above, how are you finding time to work out, maintain a relationship/friendships, and keep up with cooking, cleaning, errands, and beauty routines?


My semester has turned into a sleepless nightmare of a marathon. 


Any tips, or even just how you manage pre grad school prep like shadowing alongside other commitments would be great!



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At least for me, I have really learned that I don't have time for procrastination, quite literally. Keeping a tight schedule this past year has been a necessity for success. I also cut out unnecessary things, like keeping up with my TV shows and taking an excessive amount of naps (I love sleep). I plan to catch up on TV in the summer :). I found it useful to mentally plan out my day each morning and what my goals were for the day. It was also very necessary for me to do a lot of planning ahead for studying when I knew I had things that would interfere, like work. Planning ahead and getting things done sooner rather than later is a lifesaver (it stinks at the time, but it's worth it). Of course, a daily planner is a necessity as well. 


I won't lie, I feel like my social life has really taken a hit this past year. I spent most weekends, including Saturdays and Sundays, busy with studying. If I had more of a social life I don't think I would have done as well as I have this year. Some people are naturally good at balancing everything but I felt like my social life took the hardest hit. My friends from outside the major haven't seen much of me at all this last semester. I also have a significant other who has really been on the back burner (sad but true!), although he understands school priorities since he is a med student himself. 


However, I think it is essential to make time for yourself and things you enjoy outside of school. Although I studied a lot on weekends, I would set aside time to do things away from the books and homework. Otherwise, burnout is unavoidable. Getting outside even for short walks or doing something to clear your head is a great way to relax. It also really helped me focus when I had to get back to studying. The best thing you can do is make time for yourself, when possible! That is what I have found to be most useful and motivating for me. 

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Thanks SLPosteriorCricoarytenoid! I am partial to the hobby of napping as well, haha. I really like your idea of planning and executing daily goals. 

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I would try estimating how many hours per week you spend doing everything (including sleep!) and see if there's anywhere that you can make adjustments. Prioritize what's most important to you. It sounds like you have a lot going on in the "build resume" categories and I also see you're applying for Fall 2017 which means you have plenty of time- is it possible there's anything you can save for a future semester or the summer? I think your resume will look amazing but not everything needs to be done all at once! Maybe volunteer/shadow one semester, do research another semester. If you have a busy academic schedule, is it possible for you to take a summer/winter class to alleviate your fall/spring? Even just taking one less class could eliminate a lot of stress and give you more time. I would also talk to upperclassmen to see which classes should and should not be taken together. Some classes will be easier than others, and it will be very difficult if you take all your hard classes the same semester.

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