“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’, is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.

Lao Tzu

If you look at the world’s greatest leaders and successful people, you will discover that there is an uncanny commonality among them all-they all knew how to use time effectively. Time is a precious resource. Our lives revolve around its specificity. Dedicated students and professionals alike succeed only if they learn to value time. Time management is an essential skill for all international students. The cultural core of the West thrives on the optimum utilization of time and adheres to the value of respecting it. 

International students often have to come up with meeting deadlines within a short time frame and adapt to a lifestyle that moves by ticking of the clock. Therefore, it becomes significant to keep a track of how and where one invests time. There are some effective measures that students can take to manage time, not just effectively but efficiently. As a student attending a foreign University, one realizes pretty early that time is of the very essence. Professors who take your classes will usually arrive 5 minutes early before commencement. In Western countries, more so in the United States as well as Australia and the United Kingdom, classes begin by 9 am while the teacher arrives well before time, and as a student, you are expected to be seated and ready by 8.55 am. 

A useful way to manage time efficiently is its proper division. Divide your time among necessities, leisure, personal hygiene, study, and rest. Holistically, we have 24 hours in a day that can be divided into 3 blocks of 8 hours each. Remove one block which you will use to take rest. You are left with 2 blocks of 8 hours each. Now shorten that further into 4 blocks of 4 hours each. This is one of the simplest methods where you will be able to plan, prioritize, and determine where you want your hours to be spent.

Since you will need to abide by a time-bound culture, another important tool for effective time management is to have a calendar of events. You should devise ways to prioritize your timings and plan well ahead, to have a hassle-free semester. Google Calendar is a great platform that will enable you to actively plan all your events, and you will also be able to set reminders for the same.  Setting continuous reminders or alarms whichever you prefer, is yet another method where you can keep track of your time. Let us suppose that you have set a certain amount of time for leisure but you also have several assignments to complete. You are in the middle of this break but you are unsure as to when you would want to resume studying and completing your assignments. This is where alarms and reminders are best put to use. Set an alarm and follow that with precision. It will remind you to be active and engage you in getting your work done.

As foreign universities are often very particular about receiving assignments at a set date, your effective handling of time will be quite useful. It will not allow you to be stress free but also create a good impression on your Professors. You would also need to acquire the skill of anticipating the time required to finish a given task and being specific, including the time needed to plan your assignments, library visits and research work. Try and keep a record of your time along with each activity performed either on campus or back home. It will help you audit the time you are spending and fundamentally prioritize what to do next. 

Time Management does not have to be a difficult feat to master. It can be actually ensured by inculcating simple habits like journaling your thoughts, tracking the time spent on each activity and making a to-do-list and daily routine. You can infact also use planners and organizers to ensure smooth execution of your daily tasks and assignments. If you can master the art of time management, you can manage almost everything in life. Go, get that planner now! 

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