The average age of today's seminary student is 35. Many have families and all have commitments outside of classes. The reading and writing load is tremendous making time precious. Juggling classes, families, and outside commitments is a challenge so it is imperative that seminary students learn how to use those 24 hours wisely.
Here are some suggestions:
- Plan: Use a calendar with all important meetings, classes, tests, and papers highlighted. Keep "to do" lists for each day, week, and month.
- Understand your responsibilities: Make sure you know what is expected of you. Don't waste time trying to figure out what people expect or want from you. Just ask.
- Prioritize: Separate "to do" items into categories of importance. Do the most important first. You will find that once some of the more urgent needs are crossed off the list, you will be revitalized by a sense of accomplishment. Your time is worth a lot, so forget about the unimportant list and concentrate on what you must do.
- Evaluate your use of time: Decide when you are the most energetic and use that time of the day for the biggest projects. If you are a morning person, get up one hour earlier to read your assignments before class.
- Use wasted time: When you arrive to class five minutes early, pick up a book. When you finish a class early, study and review your notes. If you take a bus, study while you are waiting for your ride.
- Don't be a perfectionist: Set achievable but challenging goals. Don't waste time trying to make something better than your best. Do what you can.
- Learn to say no: Don't go to a movie with a friend because you feel guilty for not spending more time with her. She'll understand if she's your friend. First things first.
- Screen your phone calls and unwanted visitors: Much of our time is taken up with chit chat. If you don't have time to complete an assignment, you certainly don't have time for chit chat.
- Combine several activities: While watching television, practice your Greek vocabulary words. While driving to school, listen to tapes of your classes to review study notes. While showering, make a mental "to do" list. Read while you eat lunch. There are many activities that you can combine. Be creative!
- Rest, relax, and enjoy: Make sure you get enough sleep, and make time for the fun things in life. If you are unhappy or too tired, it will take you twice as long to accomplish anything.