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Prioritising Your Time In Your Final Year

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During your final year of University it becomes increasingly important for students to be able to effectively balance and prioritise their time. Not to mention the fact that final year is usually the most heavily weighted in terms of deciding your degree outcome, it may also be the last time you live as a happy-go-lucky student, so it is a key time to be getting involved in a variety of activities both within and without the university campus.

With the constant looming of essay deadlines and exams, it is important that students employ some tried-and-tested strategies so they can resist the sinister scholarly pressure and can maximise their time in the best way possible.

My first piece of advice involves developing an efficient routine. President Obama, aka the Big Boss, has cited his rigid routine as a major factor in his success. By adhering to a consistent (ish) schedule, he is always conscious of what he is supposed to be doing and when. When your days have a regular pattern it can be far easier to be more productive, whether that means just having more fun or working particularly hard. Obama swears by his daily (even weekends!) 7:30 gym sessions, and even if you don't have quite the same presidential levels of energy, you can still see just how important having a consistent routine can be in helping you deliver consistent quality.

Another simple way to ensure that you effectively prioritise your time in your final year is to get yourself a calendar or a diary. With the modern-day technological wonder that is the iPhone, along with the various other absurdly advanced pieces of available technology, there is no longer any excuse for people not to give their days a focused structure. In-built calendars, diaries and reminder devices make it is easier than ever to know what you're supposed to be doing and when. The increased accessibility to these kind of timetabling devices should help you to see how best you should be using your time according to what you are doing at any given moment. With the help of modern technology, you are never further than an infuriating 'BEEP' away from remembering what exactly you are supposed to be doing.

In your final year, if you want to stay ahead of all pressures and problems, it is important to ensure that you know when exactly your all your deadlines are far in advance of the deadlines actually arriving. If you know what dates you are working towards it becomes far easier to know how exactly you should be prioritising your time, devoting the appropriate amount of attention to whatever task requires it. Where and when you decide to commit your attention can depend on a piece of work's expected word count, or how challenging you find a particular piece of work, or perhaps you might prioritise based simply on which dastardly deadline is arriving first. Furthermore, if you know precisely when exactly you are working towards, you can and should set yourself earlier deadlines which allow you a surplus of time to edit and correct your work, as well as relieving you of time pressure which can allow you to do more things other than cramming when deadlines actual come into closer sight.

My final acorn of advice is one which outwardly appears to be the most simple, yet in the context of student existence appears to be curiously complex: Get. Up. Early. Without trying to sound too condescending, the benefits of simply getting your behind out of bed and into productive activity, are endless. You allow yourself more time to accomplish whatever it is you may need to do, you get yourself, (physically and emotionally!) into an efficient routine and, finally, you can get things done while most people are sleeping and are therefore, figuratively of course, getting one up on the rest of the weary world! While others are in bed, sleeping and snoring with a distinct lack of purpose you can prioritise your activities, get your important work completed early, and leave the rest of the day available for lovely, last-year leisure.

In your final year of university, your time becomes increasingly precious and it becomes vital to know how to balance what little time you may have! By combining any number of the above techniques, you could be only days away from transforming yourself into a time-efficient and omni-organised individual.

tom brada grb author

Tom studied English and Drama at The University of Bristol.

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