Last week we talked a little about time management for nursing students. Today we want to expand that a bit, and talk specifically about some ways that you can squeeze some time out that you might not have thought you had.
You probably already know this but one way you can do this is by mulit-tasking.
Listen to your reading. Many books that you have to buy for your classes have audio bits. You can listen to your book. Be careful though, sometimes you may get more out of reading than listening – or what I liked to do is read and then listen. Do whatever works best for you.
Studying for a test – use flashcards, then when you have a spare moment you can pull your cell phone (or the actual cards) out of your pocket and go over them. You will be surprised at how many times this may come into play. We do a whole lot of waiting, spend your waiting time productively.
Depending on the class or what you’re doing, you can also listen (to reading or a lecture) while you’re doing the task. For a science class I had, we did a lot of drawings and coloring, it was pretty mindless, so I could do two things at once. You wouldn’t want to do this while you were doing something that you needed to concentrate on.
Always have a notepad or you can use your cell phone to write down things. I mentioned that I did a whole lot of traveling when I was working on my BSN. I listened to lectures on cassette tapes (yep it was that long ago), but I would also think about other things. I had to do a number of papers during my course and on many trips I would work on an outline for a paper and / or actually start writing it down in my head. Since it was impossible, or maybe I should say, not safe to drive and write so I had a tiny digital recorder that I would use to put down my thoughts so I wouldn’t forget them, and then I would get my wife to transcribe them from the tape to a word document. I managed to write several different papers this way. I would have to edit them after they were transcribed but it saved me quite a bit of time.
You can get ideas when you least expect it which is a good reason to keep your notebook with you.
Other tips –
I always like to review my notes right before class, and then as soon after the class as was possible. This helped to reinforce what I had just heard; it also let me know what I might have questions about so I could ask the professor.
I taped all of my nursing lectures. After class, usually within a couple of days I would listen to the lecture again with my note book and jot down anything that I might have missed.
Make sure you take breaks while you’re studying. I normally did five or ten minutes every hour. This helps you keep more awake and alert – and is healthy too.
Don’t procrastinate – it is such a bad habit to start, and pretty soon you’ll be in a never ending cycle of barely getting things done when you’re supposed to. I would use the reward system, especially with big projects. Do this and then you’ll be able to do that.
If you don’t understand or are falling behind, it doesn’t matter how much time you have – you’re wasting it. Ask your teachers, fellow students, or friends that might have taken the course. If you’re like me sometimes asking for help is difficult, but it is much better than spinning your wheels.
Next time we’ll be talking about figuring out how you learn, till then we hope you have a wonderful day.