Time Management tactics that work in Medical School

Young medical students training on ward
Author: 
Andrew Renaut

The clock is ticking and exams are approaching, but what you really should be thinking about now is how to improve your time management skills so that you can organise a daily schedule that balances your university studies with your current lifestyle.

Being organised is a key to academic success, not only in the medical field but also in other areas of education. Most students learn this important skill sooner or later in their life. Although time management may seem like a pain, the long term benefits are extremely rewarding by helping you stay on track and at the same time reduce stress levels. By taking the chance to arrange your priorities and plan your weeks in advance, time can be your friend rather than your enemy. This is something that can be the point of difference between success and failure at Medical School.

“The best students are not necessarily those who are more intelligent, but those who utilise their time effectively and efficiently”

Think about it this way. Have you ever heard of a musician delivering a concert without rehearsing? Of course not! Such a professional knows that in order to succeed in this area of expertise, it is inevitable to take the time and effort to practice. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that many young students behave otherwise. Nevertheless, life improves once you decide to do things differently.

What is the best way to improve my time management skills as a Medical Student?

We have done research and discovered some great strategies that could make a large impact on your time management skills and academic performance:

  • List your priorities and work out how much time each task will take you.
  • Make a schedule that consists of your fixed commitments: lectures, seminars, workshops and part-time jobs.
  • Block off large sections of your day that you will dedicate for studying that includes revision periods.
  • Block off smaller sections of your day that include non-study activities (i.e. exercise, socialising). These are important in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Invest in a monthly calendar so that you can jot down important due dates, deadlines and exam periods. This will assist you in planning and adjusting your time as well as making you more aware of your priorities.
  • While you cannot eliminate being interrupted by certain unforseen events, you can, however, decide how much time you will spend on them so that you can focus on your priorities that will lead you to success.
  • Avoid distraction – do not think about what is going to happen next on Big Bang Theory or where you will go on your next holiday.

If you have any other suggestions or ideas, please discuss them in the related forum topic - Top 5 Strategies to Help You Succeed in Medical School.

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