Time Management Tips from Our Student Bloggers

Our student bloggers share their strategies for time management as students and artists and how they manage to get it all done.  

By: Aug. 09, 2023
Time Management Tips from Our Student Bloggers

As a part of our student blogger program, theatre students from all over the world share their experiences and tips for surviving their college years over on our Student Center page.

This past month, the bloggers wrote about their strategies for time management as students and artists and how they manage to get it all done.  

Check out excerpts from their advice below!

1. Maintain perspective

"When I do get overwhelmed by everything, [maintaining perspective] helps me to take a step back and see the big picture (something I’m still learning how to do). I think about the future and remind myself why I chose to go to college and why I want to pursue Musical Theatre. I listen to my favorite cast recordings, write out my feelings in a journal, or talk through things with a friend. Sometimes when I’m caught up in everything, I feel like I’m just treading water, but when I take time to reflect, I realize just how much progress I’ve made since starting undergrad, both within my degree and in a personal sense. I’ve found that staying connected to my goals, both big and small, allows me to be proud of what I’ve accomplished so far, while feeling motivated and excited about the future." Sarah Alexander, from "Time Management as a Musical Theatre Major"

2. Break up your day

"During the summer, I don’t have any schoolwork to worry about, but I still have a lot I have to complete every day. It is easy for the day to run away from me during the summer, so I use the same strategy I used for my school work. I decide what I want to do before lunch and what I want to do after lunch. For example, I might say I want to practice singing and clean my room before lunch and work out and spend time outside after lunch. Even if I don’t complete these tasks specifically before and after lunch, it still provides me with a check-in point to make sure I am using my time efficiently." - Ellie Weaver, from "Managing Time as a Student and Performer"

3. Prioritize sleep

"The biggest tool, though, that I've been using to navigate through this summer has been sleep. In past summers, the chaos has led me to neglect my own needs, setting me up for failure as the school year began. I have been trying very hard to change that. I have found that by taking the extra time to sleep or nap rather than feeding into the "I can't sleep, I have to get this done" mindset has actually allowed me to be more productive. Something that I would usually spend hours doing at midnight takes me half the time when I feel awake and rested. I can more clearly see that the consequences of neglecting my health severely outweigh the consequences of reducing my shift load or taking some time off, which is a crucial discovery. - Lauren Massais, from "Making it Work"

4. Wake up earlier

"One thing that really helped me was giving myself plenty of time every morning. Starting my day off rushed only makes me stressed and anxious for the rest of the day. At the beginning, I had to force myself to start waking up earlier (I am definitely not a morning person by nature…) But, by the end of the year, I was enjoying my long mornings before class. Starting off my day slowly waking up, having time to get my coffee, arriving to class early and being able to take in my rehearsal space for the day, all helped me get into a better mindset for the tasks at hand. The more rushed I feel, the more anxious I become. Giving myself as much time to get ready / prepare as I could allowed me to feel more at ease!" - Katie Gleason, from "An Acting Student's Guide to a Busy Schedule"

5. Use technology to your advantage

"What has worked for me recently, though, is nothing special: the built-in calendar app on my iPhone. I started really taking advantage of it at the beginning of this summer, when my days became less structured yet equally busy, and I needed a way to make up for the lack of a routine. It’s a concise, functional, and easy-to-use piece of software that syncs across all my devices, and I even have a shared calendar with my family so that we can all coordinate events together. Sometimes I even get notified about whatever niche national day today is… the 17th of July is National Yellow Pig day AND World Emoji Day. It doesn't get much better than that. What a blessing my calendar is." - Teddy Molner, from "Ode to the iPhone Calendar App"

6. Set a deadline

"Deadlines are important. It gives you a time frame for a project. It gives you a sense of urgency to finish something. When you’re working, your boss or clients give you the deadline. When you’re studying, your teachers give you the deadline. When you’re doing a theater production, the opening night is the deadline. You have other people relying on you meeting those deadlines, and you know the risk of missing them. But the thing is, it’s hard to keep a deadline when it’s a personal project. You are the one giving yourself the deadline. And it’s very easy to change it, because you’re the only person who would be disappointed if you missed it (and most of the time, you’re okay with it). The stakes are lower than failing a class or losing a job. And that’s how a lot of personal projects get abandoned and forgotten." - Dwiani I, from "Deadline: The Key to Productivity"

7. Schedule breaks

"I do not overwork myself (or, at least, I try diligently to avoid it). While I do have the occasional weeknight where I'm up into the next day putting the finishing touches on a paper, I try to strategize my schedule to where I have time for class and rehearsals, intermingled with meal breaks and homework time." - Alyssa Meadows, from "Time Management Tips and Tricks"

8. Think smaller

"A year, maybe too long to make a plan. But a year consists of 12 months. And one year passes after 3 months repeats 4 times. Therefore, I recommend that you set a goal for three months first, not for one year. "Oh no! Hasn't it already been three months?" That's all right, but we still have nine months more! Just write down the goals you want to achieve from April to June. And write down what you have to do for three months. Of course, rather than writing too much, I recommend you to write things three to as many as six. If you set a goal of 3 months, divide it back into 1 month. You'll be able to face a much more visible goal than before. Maybe, it's much easier to achieve!" - Eunsong Yang, from "How to Manage Plans More Effectively"

9. Use a planner

"It’s always at the beginning of the semester when I have to buy a planner. This has been told to me time and time again that the best way to just know what’s going on in your busy schedule is with a planner. Once I have dates for rehearsals and when I get due dates for classes I immediately write them down. This way I can have an idea of what is a priority and what I’m doing on certain days. I know last semester I had a class where I had to write essays every other week and because I know myself I knew I’d be stressed because it intertwined with rehearsals as an assistant stage manager where I would most likely be busy working on that. With the help of the planner I had certain parts of my day blocked out just to focus on the writing class." - Lauren D., from "Managing Such a Busy School Life"

10. Create a comfortable environment

"One of my current obsessions is the Danish concept of hygge. Hygge is really about creating a comfortable and pleasant environment for yourself. A comfortable environment can be anything from lighting, food, or just alone time. I like to work in my "comfort corner" where my big windows and plants create a relaxing ambiance. Sometimes having a coffee break helps reset me too. Hygge also emphasizes that being by yourself can be nice, but spending time with people who love you also relaxes the mind. Seeing my friends every couple of weeks is a really nice way for me to take a break. Sometimes seeing people you don't work with or go to school with can be very refreshing for your mind. The various stressors I have in my week seem less extreme after talking to my friends about it. Friends are good for offering a second opinion in the situations you're dealing with, and oftentimes let you know things aren't as bad as they seem." - Alex Leigh, from "Helpful Tools"

BroadwayWorld is currently taking applications for our fall student blogger session. The program is open for theatre students of all disciplines, from actors to writers to techs, and beyond! For more information and to apply to the program, click here.


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From This Author - Blair Ingenthron

Blair is the Weekend News Desk Editor / Special Projects Coordinator at BroadwayWorld. She has worked in various capacities in the theatre industry, with companies such as Davenport Theatric... Blair Ingenthron">(read more about this author)



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