One of the most important skills for MBA survival is time management. I will be posting a lot of tips in this blog about time management in general, but also specific tips that helped me get through the program, and do it with my sanity still (mostly) intact. Okay- some of my dearest friends would dispute the sanity part, but I did survive the program.
Tips for Time Management for MBA Survival
- Decide which things you can hire out. Chances are there are things in your life, that can easily be hired out. Some examples in my life are lawn care and present wrapping (presents can be ordered pre-wrapped)
- Decide which things you can delegate to others in your life. I’m a Girl Scout leader, but that doesn’t mean that I have to do everything myself. Last year during Girl Scout Cookie Season, I got extra help with counting money and cookies at the end of each weekend. We had a weekly counting party with several parents attending. That way, we got the girls accounts credited more quickly than ever before, and all of the money deposited first thing Monday morning. Win-win.
- Decide which things can slide, and be done later. Some things can wait a few months. Painting the exterior of my house falls in that category, as does the task of finishing sorting through my mother’s personal effects. Those chores will still be there in a few months.
- Decide which things do not need to be done at all. Do you have activities in your life that don’t make you happy or fulfill a need? They should be eliminated from your schedule. Use your time to do things that you find fulfilling or necessary.
- Set a schedule and keep to it. That means scheduling sleep, exercise, and time to eat. It also means scheduling time to study for all of the classes. 15-25 hours per week is the amount usually quoted, and I find that to be fairly accurate. Schedule that time for yourself as well – haircuts, a manicure, and even a massage. You need to take care of yourself, and sharpen your saw.
- Schedule time for your significant other, children, and family. And keep those times and dates. I regularly have dinner with my father on Thursdays, and lunch on Sunday. That is the schedule, and we stick to it, unless we are travelling (or it’s Girl Scout Cookie Season, when we’re out selling cookies 7 days a week)
With some creativity and time management, MBA survival is possible, and not even too difficult. It just takes work, and discipline to follow through.