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Tip of the Week:

Learn To Manage Your Time!

"I'll do it when I feel more motivated." "She must think I don't have any other classes to prepare for!" "I do my best work under pressure." "There's not enough time!"

Sound familiar? Learning to manage time effectively is a real challenge for many students. It is, however, possible to apply effective time management skills. The following tips can help you learn to budget your time:

Maximize your best times. Use your high concentration times of day for studying, and try not to use your lowest-energy times for studying, especially in more challenging subjects or tasks. Do the hard stuff first. Start with subjects or assignments that are more challenging (or boring) before moving on to something that is easier or more enjoyable.

Break things into small "chunks." When we're facing big projects we often feel overwhelmed and avoid doing anything at all. Instead of trying to read three chapters in one sitting or write a term paper in one night, try reading one chapter at a time or breaking the paper (or other project) into small steps. That strategy tends to make things feel much more manageable, and allows us to juggle all the different things we need to do. Use small blocks of time/breaks in schedule. Most students have at least 12-15 hours of time between classes, work, etc. every week. Try using those short blocks of time for reading, class review, library work or essential errands - things that can easily be started and stopped in an hour or less.

Look and plan ahead. Get out all of your syllabi and a big, blank monthly calendar. Write the due dates for major assignments, tests, etc. and then start working backward, realistically planning the amount of time you'll need for each. You might want to use different colors for different classes in order to really see how to juxtapose the different tasks you need to do. As you move through the semester, revise your plan as needed.

Reward yourself. Knowing that you have something to look forward to after your work is done can be a great motivator. "Play time" is much more enjoyable when we're not feeling guilty about the work we're supposed to be doing!

Avoid procrastinating. We often don't start things until we feel "motivated." But too often the motivation never comes, and we end up rushing to just get something done at the deadline. Instead of waiting to be "in the mood," borrow Nike's slogan and "Just Do It!"

Keep trying! Even the best time managers sometimes get off schedule - that's part of being human. When that happens, don't tell yourself time management "doesn't work," but pick up where you left off and keep going. As you practice it gets easier, and the end result is likely to be a more efficient and less stressed you! For more tips or help with time management, call Counseling Services at 245-5716, or visit our Web site at

You Ask, We Answer!

Question: I have severe acne. Are there any dermatologists at the Health Center who can diagnose or prescribe medication for my breakouts?

Answer: There are no dermatologists at the Health Center, but our clinicians can provide medication and any other necessary treatment for your acne. Please call Health Services at 245-5736 to schedule an appointment.

Question: I recently discovered a mole on my back that is very dark, almost black, and protrudes a little more than usual. It is also surrounded by a thin gray border. It is very small and round and so doesn't seem to fit the warning signs for skin cancer, but all of my other moles are flat and brown. Should I be concerned?

Answer: I would recommend an evaluation of that mole (nevus). Multiple colors in the nevus may be a warning sign that something is changing. An office visit is all that is needed to initiate the evaluation of a skin lesion. Most are benign, but the incidence of melanoma skin cancers is increasing in our population. To have your mole evaluated by a provider on campus, call Health Services at 245-5736 to schedule an appointment.

(This column is courtesy of the Lauderdale Center for Student Health and Counseling. YAWA is an anonymous, online Q & A Service on the Health & Counseling website. If you have a question for YAWA, log onto