Excellent time management skills are crucial to your success as a Vet Tech student.
When a typical semester may include attending classes, practicing clinical skills during labs and studying for exams and for the VTNE®, how can you balance it all?
Read below for some of our best advice for sharpening your time management skills:
Recommendation #1: Prioritize!
"There is always enough time for the important things," states Dartmouth’s Academic Skill Center.(5) The key is to figure out what is important to you for the day, week and semester and then prioritizing your activities over time.
Time is limited but by prioritizing your activities, you can make the most of the time you do have.
“As a student, you likely have many things competing for your time; it can be easy to become frazzled. Setting priorities can help you alleviate some of this frustration, giving yourself the permission to let some things go while focusing on things that are more important to you.”
Recommendation #2: Stick to a schedule!
“There is the old saying, plan your work, then work your plan,” states Kevin Kruse- author of the book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.(4)
Once you have identified your priorities, then next step is to take action and schedule your activities. A calendar is a great tool to help you keep track of all your commitments.
Dr. Balay, a Veterinarian and experienced Vet Tech educator, recommends to write everything down! “Write out your study plan; you're more likely to follow something you have written down.” (1)
I also recommend to schedule everything else in addition to study times in your calendar- your class times, labs, exams, work schedule, appointments and other activities. Perhaps equally as important as scheduling everything is the recommendation to always check your calendar. I equate a calendar to a gym membership-it only works if you use it!
So check your calendar often- the night before, the week before, the day of, etc and set reminders to help keep you on track with your busy schedule.
Recommendation #3: Find a time management technique that works for you!
There are number of tools out there to help with time management. Dr. Lori Kogan, a Psychologist at Colorado State University, suggests the Pomodoro Technique for time management.(3)
Check out the steps below for an overview of this technique:
- Choose a task
- Set a timer for 25 minutes
- Work on task until timer goes off
- When the timer goes off, put a check mark on paper
- Take a short break (~5 minutes)
- Every 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple yet effective way to manage your time and increase your productivity. In addition to developing your abilities to prioritize your activities, scheduling everything and choosing a time management technique- there are likely many other recommendations for creating excellent time management skills.
What works for you? We’d love to hear- comment below to share!
- Balay, Allen. “VetTech Study Tips.” Ridgewater College.
- Barnette, Cathy. “How to Tackle Studying in the New Year.” VetTechPrep.
- Kogan, Lori. “Preparing and Taking Tests.” Colorado State University.
- Kruse, Kevin. “Time Management Secrets from 29 Straight-A Students.” Forbes.
- “Time Management Tips.” Dartmouth.