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5 Protips for Time Management at Harvard

In all honesty, Harvard can be a bit like a beehive: students rush from one place to another, and the vague buzzing sound in the backgrounds lends a sense of urgency. However, life is all about balance, and even in the busiest of times, there are always ways to stay on top of things while finding time for rest and relaxation. Here are a few protips for time management at Harvard:

1)   Attend study breaks

Study breaks are a pretty wonderful feature of life at Harvard. Essentially, clubs and organizations throw events to encourage students to take a break from their work and socialize with each other. These study breaks can range from movie nights to ice cream parties, and needless to say, they are fun and delicious. Just today, I attended a Ramen study break hosted by the Chinese Students Association, before returning to my dorm and dropping by a pizza party study break specially designated for my entryway (roughly the Harvard equivalent of a floor). Sometimes I feel as though I haven’t even studied enough to merit one of these breaks, but going to them is always wonderful because it gives you the needed energy to tackle the rest of the week.

My entryway at our study break!
Above: My entryway at our study break!

2)   Form study groups

It can be hard to spend quality time with your friends, especially when everyone is juggling their workloads with extra-curricular activities. However, a great way to get to know people and get work done simultaneously is to form study groups. I personally find that working on challenging math or economics problem sets with friends is one of the best ways to bond, and it definitely makes doing homework much more fun. Plus, it’s consoling to know that the struggle does not merely exist in your head: the struggle is 100% real.

3)   Order bagged lunches

Perhaps you have two classes back-to-back at lunchtime, perhaps you’ve accidentally planned two meetings and left no time to eat, or perhaps you simply need every possible second to study for your upcoming midterm. All of these scenarios can make it difficult to find time to sit down for a proper lunch, but thankfully the Harvard University Dining Services offers an excellent selection of bagged lunches that you can pick up at any time during the day- from wraps to salads, to sandwiches. As a regular user of this excellent service, I highly recommend it. And remember, you can always order a bagged breakfast or dinner as well!

Eating my bagged lunch at work
Above: Eating my bagged lunch at work

4)   Take power naps

There’s nothing quite like a power nap to get you back on your feet, literally. In fact, that’s what futons are for- passing out for half an hour in the middle of the day. Never underestimate the power of this quick break, especially if you’re an athlete who gets up for 6 am practice or a procrastinator who was up until 2 am working on a problem set due the next day.

How many roommates can nap on a futon at once?
Above: How many roommates can nap on a futon at once?

5)   Get away from all the hustle and bustle of campus

One of my roommates is from Winchester, Massachusetts, and on Columbus Day, her family was lovely enough to invite us over. It was really nice to leave campus behind for a little while and indulge in the luxury of homemade meals and New England charm. We had the perfect afternoon carving pumpkins and enjoying each other’s company without worrying about homework and meetings. Moments like these bring you closer, and the distance helped you put school life in perspective. And after a relaxing weekend, you return rejuvenated and ready to jump into the fray once more.

The pumpkins we carved last weekend are now proudly displayed in our common room.
Above: The pumpkins we carved last weekend are now proudly displayed in our common room.

About the author

Hey guys! My name is Claire and I’m a sophomore here at Harvard. My hometown is the vibrant city of Toronto, Canada but my home on campus is Winthrop, the majestic lion house (think Gryffindor!).... View full profile

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