Time Management While Abroad

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One thing that I learned quickly was the importance of time management. However, this wasn’t without challenge. The first challenge I had to face was adjusting to a complete opposite timezone. My morning at home was my night in Denmark, my body clock was thrown so off course I found myself yawning through the day. One thing I did to help, especially with the jet lag, was wake up at 6am everyday for a month. I know it sounds early and who would want to wake up earlier than they have to? I did it because my host family has breakfast at 6am and I wanted to get to know them and but effort in. It also didn’t help that I’m so not a morning person. But not only did I avoid feeling any jet lag by doing this but I adjusted to the time zone so much more quickly. I was up by 6am and tired by 8pm, I feel like I was truly awake during the day, and got to get more out of my day while in a new place for the first time.

Wake up earlier than you have to everyday. – Let your body and mind adjust.

On a day I don’t have class I pretend I do and go around to find the buildings all of my classes are in, and the rooms if I can. I take public transportation to campus and attempt to find out where to go on my first day so I save time on the first day and prevent getting lost.

Have a “practice day” – familiarize yourself

Another thing I learned was how to efficiently get around in a way that saves time. In the beginning I left at least an hour before class because I was taking public transportation and didn’t have an idea of how long the route would take. Traffic is different at different times, a pattern you will learn overtime. Over time I learned alternative routes, which buses are more often than others, and the traffic patterns. Eventually, I was able to leave for class just 30 minutes before still being able to grab coffee on the way.

Start off by leaving at least an hour earlier to get to class – you can figure out how close you can cut time as you go

At home I normally have multiple jobs, research, and I’m a full-time student so time management is something I always try to work on. I also have ADHD so I have to do certain things to keep myself on track. I normally have my class schedule on my phone using google calendar and am able to set a reminder 30 and 10 minutes before class keeping me on track. Sometimes I’m in the middle of getting ready for class and then get distracted or I’m walking to class and want to stop by a cool shop I’m passing by. All of that is okay but it’s helpful to have the reminders to keep you on track when you’re excited about being in a new place.

Have a planner on your phone with reminder 30 minutes and 10 minutes before the start of each class.