Daily Time Management and Efficiency
Friday, May 28, 2010 at 9:57AM
Brian in Self-Improvement, Study Skills

Hey everyone, my name is Brian and I’m one of the new writers discussing the neurosis here at PMH. I’m a 4th year biophysiology major slowly gridding my teeth all the way up to 7 years. Why the lucky number? I’ve dived into a couple of majors including computer science and nursing and right before I was about to take full semesters in the colleges, I switched. If anyone has any questions with those requirements as well I’ll be more than happy to help. I like long walks on the beach, movies, music, learning, and medical TV shows (did you guys see the Grey’s Anatomy season finale?). My favorites are cyan, jellyfish, Trauma: Life in the ER, Green Day, and Ten Things I Hate About You. I’ve worked in a hospital for three years now, I’ve been in school for 40 straight weeks, and I’m trying to charter my school for Tri-Beta. That’s pretty much me in a nutshell. I’m honored to be a part of the team and I hope I can give you helpful information to get you into your medical schools. Let’s get to learning.

This post is a follow up to Mohammad's post monitoring his internet usage, I decided to apply it to my daily life and monitor my time for the whole day, the results were fairly surprising. 

Studying is pretty self-explanatory, it basically is anytime that I hit the books, reading for biology, chemistry, organizing or studying notes, and doing chemistry problems at the back of the book. I was a little shocked to see the average at nine.

I actually asked my girlfriend what I should name this section and she couldn’t think of a better name either; kind of cutesy, huh? This section was reserved for any time that I was doing something not related to school (but still productive); most of the time I was watching YouTube videos or spending time on Facebook trying to redefine the privacy policy. Although, it’s hard to say it was all fun and games; on the twelfth day, the two hours of play was calling 911 for a loud scream I heard at the school a hundred feet away from us.

To/From School
Basically, the time that it took getting to school, walking to my class, and then walking to my car from class and going home. The mornings always included the time it took to shove breakfast down my throat after sleeping in for what seemed to be only five minutes.

At School
This included the time that I was in lecture or lab and also club meetings

The time I take out of the day to eat, usually I take a half an hour to watch an episode of Scrubs. Sometimes, this is the only time out of the day I take to break, occurs more during midterms and finals.

Any time I take to sleep at night or pass out during the day. I was a little surprised to see the averages between 5 and 7.


Any activity that involves doing cardio or lifting weights to relieve stress; usually during the semester I run on the treadmill at my house. Obviously, in these two weeks it didn’t happen, but in a perfect day I try and exercise thirty minutes with ten minutes of stretching.

Time that it took getting to and from work and working itself. I thought it might be nice to see the hours it took to do everything related to working for a day, averaging about 14 ½ hours.

What was learned overall?
I knew I studied a lot but it was still a little shocking to see the average on paper at about ten hours with maximums of twelve and a half hours. However, this is consistent with the totals because I spend about 20 hours a week in lecture and about 60 to 65 hours a week studying (one hour of lecture to three hours of studying ratio); the second week is higher because finals week.

Another shocking revelation was how long it took just to get to and from school. The averages are a little off because some days I didn’t drive to school but it took roughly 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours going to and from the university, a necessary evil.

A different way to look at the data is to take out the hours sleeping and playing and I spend about a 110 hours a week trying to get into medical school, roughly three full time jobs.

Take Home Message
Log your hours. Know where you are at every second of the day. It’s a little tedious at first but practice makes perfect. Practicing time management is your key to short term goals (pressing the snooze button a few more times) and long term goals (medical school). Knowing where you need to add and where you need to slice and dice will help every aspect of your life. So, take the five minutes to write down what you did for the day and take a few minutes at the end of the week to analyze and adjust.

If you have any questions or comments about me, the post or anything in general, please don’t be shy or afraid to email me. I will be more than happy to answer questions or help with any issues you’re having.

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Article originally appeared on Pre-Med Hell (http://premedhell.com/).
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