Illustration by Beatriz Espinosa

SCAD strives to prepare students for the real world while still in college. The time management skills you must learn in order to excel in your classes are essential to surviving SCAD’s intense curriculum, as well as adapting to your job after graduation. The earlier you train yourself to learn time management practices, and make a habit of using them each week, the better prepared you will be to join the workforce.

The simple steps below will help you say goodbye to pulling all-nighters, and hello to completing your work on time.

Invest in a large desk calendar
Planners are a portable way to write down assignments while your professor calls them out in class. Yet the next day when you glance at that small square that is overflowing with rushed handwriting, it can be illegible. Investing in a large desk calendar is one of the best purchases you can make at the beginning of each school year. With larger areas to write your schedule and even sections for list making, the desk calendar provides you with more room to organize your schedule. Jot down your class assignments in your planner, bring it home and transfer the assignment onto your large calendar. Color code it, use stickers, section off the days according to each class and so on. The next time you sit down to start your homework, you won’t be wasting time trying to read scribbled instructions or searching through three different notebooks to find what each professor assigned.

Never rely on “I’ll do it tomorrow morning before class”
A full day of classes can be exhausting and once you get home you may want to drop everything and watch Netflix for the rest of the night while using the standard excuse, “I’ll do my homework tomorrow morning before class.” Nine out of ten times you are going to hit snooze on your alarm the next morning. You are going to finally emerge from the covers with only enough time to take a shower and run to class. Never rely on the “I’ll do it tomorrow” excuse. Completing your assignment, the night before not only ensures your assignments will be completed, but also gives you peace of mind and a longer night’s rest.

Write out each step of the assignment beforehand
Some assignments may take only an hour or two typing on your computer while others may take multiple sessions of work. Take into account if your work has to be done in the studio, or if it can be done at home. If it must be done in a studio, look up the hours of that studio and write them down. Then, plan your work schedule. Work on your project just one hour a day everyday, make that one hour fit in your schedule and write it on your large calendar. This way, at the end of the week you won’t have to cram all five hours of work into one grueling all-nighter. Instead, you’ll show up to critique day awake and excited.

Tackle group projects early
Group projects may take you twice as long to complete due to the learning aspect of collaborating with new people. Everyone must find a time to meet that works with their differing schedules and you all must agree on what you’re working on. If you see a group project coming up on your syllabus, it’s best to get all of your other work for that week done the week before.

Think of your homework as your job
We are all at SCAD because we want to pursue a creative career. We are all chasing our dreams and excited about our creative future. Thus, don’t think of your assignments as homework or chores. Rather, think of your assignments as your job. The assignments we are given are to prepare us for our future in our creative career. These assignments will be what we are working on our entire lives as painters, fashion designers, creative writers, graphic designers and so on. The next time you’re overwhelmed with work, take a step back and remember how much you love the major you are pursuing, remember this is your passion. Suddenly, you will be eager to start your homework.

The faster we learn these time management skills, the easier our SCAD careers, and creative careers, will be. Take time to stay organized and plan because it will save you time in the end. Show up to critique well-rested and well-dressed, and remember this is your passion.