How do you do time management in school


Hi everyone,
Like the title says, I would like to know how people usually manage their time in grad school.
I’ve been to one intro program and during that one month I pretty much stayed up late every night (it was not like working till 1:00am but like till 3:00am or later….). I wonder if it is the common situation for everyone in graduate school, or maybe the summer programs tend to be more intense?
I guess everyone knows that staying up late on a regular basis is extremely bad for you. I would really like to avoid it if I can...

Mar 24, 13 2:46 pm

I was horrible at managing time.. pulled waaayyy too many all-nighters during my undergrad and still managed to fall behind. 

One of the best advice I"ve received but had a hard time following - You must learn to stop designing at some point way before your deadline and just produce the work.  Truth is, you can always improve your design and keep working on it, but in school or real life, you don't have that privilege because time is money.  At some point, you must learn to settle with what you have and complete it even though it may not be your best work.  Its better than having cool ideas and designs but a work that is incomplete and hard for anyone to understand because you don't have work to show for it.    I was one of them who was never satisfied with his work and always felt it could be improved so kept designing until I ran out of time to produce drawings and build models.  Create a time table, allocate your time for design and production, and try to stick with it religiously.  I ended up shooting myself in the foot for not doing that.

Mar 24, 13 9:51 pm


Good post, right above.  Yes, create a weekly time table.  Try to block time to allocate to studio and to ancillary courses, along with doing your normal daily functions, errands, and also attend to non-routine items, such as visits to the dentist.

I've seen people stay up late repeatedly.  I could never get into their heads.  It seemed more like "Look at me, I'm in studio, spinning my wheels."  Toward the end of a project, I've had to pull the all-nighters.  The reasons were that I kept on designing, typically not in "overhaul" mode, but in "fine tuning" mode, and that I underestimated the time it would take to produce the presentation I had planned out.

The most important thing is to block time, and pin it up in your work space or your refrigerator, whichever works.

Mar 25, 13 12:02 am

I've got to agree with the two posts above.  I generally didn't have to pull all-nighters until the very end of the quarter.

I often got up really early in the morning because that's when I get the most work done, and also when there are the least distractions.  When I met a goal I had set, I would take time to go outside and get away from my work.

I found that when I did pull an all-nighter, I generally didn't get that much done past a certain time, probably midnight, and that I was much less capable of responding to any situations that might arise, such as computer problems, etc.

Mar 25, 13 12:44 am

Time management is one common problem that every graduate student would face during the college days. Yes, it is best advisable to prepare a proper time table and study according to it, but the bitter truth is that it is really hard to stick to one particular time schedule everyday. So, late night sleeps every now and then is simply unavoidable during college days.

Mar 25, 13 12:51 am
Tinbeary There there

Keep your focus on what is important, the big picture. When I caught myself mismanaging time it was usually because I wasn't focusing on the right thing, spending a lot of time working on something that didn't matter. Learning to recognize what matters and what doesn't is a skill to hone.

Mar 25, 13 5:12 am

I always do such a horrible job at time management because I never have a schedule.And even if I do have one I wouldn't follow it, I always do things according to my emotion.Horrible...It already cost me some trouble because sometimes I can't finish my task untill last minute.

Mar 26, 13 1:57 am
Tinbeary There there

i8iphonei and others, your creative brain is very useful for holistic viewing and designing, but not for time management. The left brain alone perceives time. Maybe just knowing this can help? (Note: I am a former architect, now work for a psychologist that helps students with learning problems.)

Mar 26, 13 8:53 am

Best thing to do is to have play time part of your schedule. When I got my degree I was working a part-time job and went to school full-time. Friday's I always partied and had fun. Saturday I went to work usually from either 9-5 or 1pm-10pm. I knew that Saturdays I wasn't a day for me to get any work done. Sundays was usually 11am-7pm. I had time to do work for Monday.

You also need to know what time of day your brain was more creative. I had an advantage that I was more creative at night. So I stayed up most nights doing design work and did all the other school work like structures, physics, etc.... during the day. I would make sure you do the bulk of your school work on campus around other Arch students. Don't take anything home because your brain knows your home is time for relaxation and school is for work. You might have already realized that.


Hoe this helps.

Mar 26, 13 1:13 pm

First you get a bunch of poor grades for not managing your time,

then you get serious about managing your time.

so you cut the B.S., like partying and bar hopping, skirt chasing, your college football team probably has a loosing record so watch the game at home and build your model, go to bed on time so you can get up early (5ish), do as much work as you can in the library -its hard to work at home or dorm,only join groups who can help you with your major not your freshman5 or beer bellly


breaker breaker

over& out

Aug 20, 13 3:05 pm

Personal opinion... best thing you can do is learn to work efficiently. It amazes me how infective a lot of arch students are at doing work. Also, pretty much always sleep at least four hours. You should only ever pull all-nighters if you will be done with the project in the morning because you will be super ineffective the next day, and you will probably get less done in the long run.

Aug 20, 13 4:58 pm

This thread is still active.  Some interesting thoughts have been added.  The OP is going to be in grad school, so all the undegrad distractions should (I said should) not apply.

First, find out when you are most creative.  I'm pretty checked out at night, so I had to save the evenings for rote stuff.

I would work on design every day M through F.  I would do the conceptual stuff during studio time with the prof in attendance, and do the fine tuning at night.  I tended to do the technical stuff in the afternoon or early evening, in another academic library, to get away from the a-school and see other human life.  History and theory could be slotted in at any time, since my brain always works for slinging bullshit.

Saturday and Sunday mornings were for errands, unless it was the dentist or something like that.  They were also for spillover for technical and history/theory/electives.  Again, weekend afternoons and evenings, if necessary, and they often were, were for working in studio.  I think I took most Saturday nights off.

I was "creative" during the day and mechanical at night.  (Sex shouldn't be like that). 

Either way, find out when and where you can best generate ideas for design, and organize your time blocks around that, and not forgo the necessary time for the "less fun" courses.

Aug 20, 13 5:47 pm

I got better and better at time management the further into my grad program. One big reason was I lacked time- I was earning two master degrees and had a part time job (about 12 hrs a week). I have never been so efficient in my life. I would walk into studio, know what I needed to get done, and knew that I only had X hrs to complete X task. It's amazing how much I realized I would drag out tasks in undergrad and the first year of my grad program. Just stay focused and value your time. 

Aug 21, 13 1:17 pm

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