Top 6 Time Management Tricks for Medical Students


Time Management in Healthcare

Studying for a medical degree is notoriously tough, especially when you consider the number of years you have to put in. Healthcare students receive more home assignments and have to keep up with strict deadlines. Unlike students of other specialties, they cannot afford to make a professional mistake because it can cost their future patients their lives. However, working hard, dealing with deadlines, and juggling a lot of medical definitions in their head can adversely affect their mental and physical conditions.

By mastering time management in healthcare, students can figure out a smooth and balanced schedule without the risk of finding themselves in stressful situations. In this article, we will discuss 6 main time management hacks for medical students that can improve their academic performance.

 #1 Take notes

Have you ever noticed that a major part of doctors has illegible handwriting? For example, we frequently have to ask our local pharmaceutical worker to “translate” for us the recipe you got from the hospital. Actually, there’s a simple reason for that – medical students receive a great deal of information during each lecture and usually have very little time to write it down legibly. Thus, they get used to the so-called “Blind writing” method whereby they take notes without looking at their notebooks.

Keeping notes is a useful technique of saving your time. Instead of writing full words, you can replace them with abridgments and signs. For example, you can replace words like “increasing,” “improving,” and “incriminating” with the “↑” symbol. Also, you can put the “!” sign to designate important ideas and things to memorize. By writing less, you will improve your handwriting and save time for other tasks. Double profit!

Try coming up with your own table of signs and abbreviations. Keep it in front of your workplace, and you’ll notice how much time you can save within the first week.

#2 Become a time-bound person

The majority of people are used to making schedules according to the importance of the tasks they have to do. They are called task-bound people. Being a task-bound person is relatively effective, but this principle does not work properly with healthcare students. They have more tasks to complete, and thus have to learn how to do several things at once.

A time schedule is a perfect solution for medical students. In order to plan it, you should make a list of all the tasks you need to complete. Write down how many hours you will spend on each of them separately. And do not forget to include sleeping, study, and meals into your daily schedule! Stick to this it unwaveringly!

#3 Outsource sidetracking activities

Allocating time for your daily routine can be a tall task for medical students. For instance, cooking a dinner or washing clothes might take several hours. Thus, outsourcing is a frequent choice for most youngsters. According to Mulberry, students aged 18-23 spend nine times more than their older counterparts. But still, how do you choose an appropriate performer of your obligations?

Firstly, try delegating some unimportant tasks to specialized agencies or duly trained people. Google for top places that can perform your tasks for you. Then compare the prices and investigate customers’ feedback.

Secondly, find out if there are any discounts for regular clients. Usually, you’re expected to sign a contract which requires you to pay a reduced fee on a regular basis. For example, you can sign a contract with a local laundry to wash your clothes every weekend.

Finally, figure out if it was profitable for you to outsource the activities you delegated. Usually, it can be assessed by evaluating the total effect of the activities you did vs. the ones you have given up on.

In our opinion, the best thing future doctors can outsource is creative tasks, such as essays. It takes a lot of time and distracts you from learning such important subjects as Latin, Anatomy, or Surgery. For instance, the average student spends approximately 2-3 days on composing a well-structured and logically organized essay. However, agencies like can complete the same task in several hours, and, most importantly, it will be performed by highly qualified native speakers.

#4 Have a nap

Unlike in other spheres, time management in healthcare is absolutely essential. On average, medical students sleep for 4 to 8 hours per day and study for 7 hours per day, Quora reports. You might ask “Why do they sleep so little?” The answer is that sleep is a luxury that hardworking healthcare students can hardly afford.

While preparing for exams, it is essential to stay motivated. To keep your mind fresh, we suggest you take short naps every 3-4 hours. Sleeping for 10 to 15 minutes will let your body rest and give your brain a chance to put all information in good order. This method helps you keep your motivation fire burning without consuming any coffee or energy drinks.

#5 Work out

Being overloaded with home assignments hinders the process of keeping your body fit. However, doing sports is absolutely important for every student. But how do you find the time to work out if your schedule is overburdened with academic stuff?

The idea is pretty simple: try riding a bicycle to your college regardless of how far it is located. According to The Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, cycling positively impacts students’ cardiorespiratory fitness, thus making them more endurant.

#6 Find out the most effective study method for you

One more piece of advice on time management for healthcare professionals is to choose a proper study method. According to the VAK learning style, people are divided into visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. The way they perceive information directly affects which part of it they remember. Being able to distinguish which of the three groups you belong to lets you choose an appropriate learning style.

For example, visual learners can depict their wishes on a motivation board, whereas auditory ones can unleash their potential within an environment supported by calm classical music. To figure out which one suits you best, try searching for an online test on VAK learning styles. Usually, said tests have some useful tips regarding each type of information perceivers.