Time Management : This is How I Manage My Time and Schedule

phd time management tipsShruthi, PhD Student in Pharmacology  shares her PhD time management tips.

She posted the following content as a comment. I’m promoting featuring her comment at  the not so sexy part of studying in USA.


I’m featuring her comment as a blog post. It povides good insights into life of a student and PhD time management tips.


Good job Raghu! It feels so good when anyone speaks aloud the thoughts going on in almost everyone’s mind.

I could relate myself so much to the things you voiced In the video.

Yes , many things can go wrong In a day. But it will be in our hands to decide the way these results will effect us…mentally!

I am a PhD student out of my bachelors. I live About 15 min from my campus and walk almost everyday to school. (No extra fitness training needed here!)

My mentor keeps me on nerves always and I almost dread our lab meetings. He expects me to outperform than a regular masters student who is almost done through his research in the university.

My experiments go wrong and sometimes will have to stay in my lab all night.

My on-campus job starts at 7 in the morning and sometimes I oversleep and be late to work.

I don’t find time to go thoroughly through all my courses as In undergrad.

My own financial resources barely help me meet the needs in NYC.

Sometimes I feel like my friends in other universities are having a smoother sail.

Yet, I don’t regret the decision of coming to US and studying here.

For one reason that this is”my” Choice and I am definitely happy about it. Also, I get to learn a lot of things in my lab in a better way than a regular semester student would learn.

PhD Time Management Tips

I feel like my schedule management has improved. Read this how to create time that you don’t have.

My time management and money management skills definitely improved than back In India when I was in a hostel during my undergrad. Here are some time management tips.

I manage to compose myself through all this is, I try to unwind as often as possible. I spend some quality time with my friends and nearby relatives.

If I did something wrong, intentionally or no, I try not to repent much about it (which builds up the tension) as it is already done.

Listen to good music, watch my favorite sitcoms & Movies, visit some places if time permits me.

My parents are really concerned about me.

I talk to them almost everyday atleast for a few minutes but video chatting is just not a compulsion. Only when we find time, we skype.

Suggestions : Have a Plan

All I would Like to tell my friends here, is try not to control everything. But keep yourself organized.

I’ve seen many of my friends here don’t have a proper meal schedule and don’t have a balanced diet.

Keep yourself healthy and fit and your first priority should be food because if you become ill, you cannot really expect your friends to help you recover.

They Are on their own too!.

If something goes wrong and is out of your control, relax, don’t worry.

Just tell yourself that all is well. Have fun!!!


Great write-up.  Most important lesson from the entire write-up is the following sentence

I’ve seen many of my friends here don’t have a proper meal schedule and don’t have a balanced diet.

I agree to that hands down.

I like to do a short 15 minutes video interview with Shruthi and other current students.  I want to get more insights and dive deep into lifestyle of students in USA. Let me know if any one is interested.

It’s easy to say, grab a cup of coffee for breakfast on the way to class. But, when you are spending crazy hours like this PhD Student you need to eat good healthy meal.

Here is something important :

By default, you will gain better time and money management skills when you live are living in USA.

Not many (even friends I know) put in more dedicated effort to learn effective time and money management skills.  You might not agree with me. But, that’s true.

Think about this

  • How many of you spent time reading books ( atleast few) to improve your time management skills?
  • Do you use any tools and follow it regularly to manage time?
  • Do you have a notepad or journal to track your priorities?
  • Have you read personal finance books?
  • Have you explored different savings plans available or interest rates to maximize the returns?

I wouldn’t call the growth that comes naturally by living in US as progress. If you want to stand-out and see big improvement, you need to put dedicated time and effort to improve your knowledge on specific skills sets.


  1. AbhijeetC on May 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Good article…giving lot of insights about the day today problems and stress faced by a PhD. Both the posts seems to stress on the managing the time, health and stress while pursuing MS or PhD. Further, it seems that the life of a PhD is more stressful than that of a MS Student.Am i Right Raghu? In my opinion , 4-5 yrs of PhD requires higher level of perseverance and dedication and a PhD student faces tough situations more number of times than a MS Student. It would be a great to watch a face to face interview with Shruti so that we get the right feel. My request is to arrange that one soon..
    PhD is something that requires lot of commitment and hardwork .It will be great to watch a Phd sharing his/her experiences about the course work , interaction with mentor & the defense of thesis..
    Raghu , you are doing a splendid job and i don’t feel that by uploading videos of any harsh reality, your blog quality goes down…Good work..Like to see more of Phd stuff. I think by this time you must have started realizing that there are many PhD aspirants also following your blog since it is one of the unique source of information and interface to education in USA.

    My regards
    Abhijeet C

  2. Ashish Arora on May 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Well guys, I am health conscious person but like other I was also very much occupied with assignments, labs and part time work. In this situation, my health was suffering. I finally asked my relatives and friends how to cope up with this situation and there I got some useful meal tips:

    Sandwiches: Guys, all of you know that sandwich is pretty much a healthy and easy choice for students and that’s the reason most of students line up at subway. What I use to do is make some sandwiches at home for myself. sandwiches filling usually comprise of vegetables like lettuce, mixed salad, cucumber, vegetable sauces, cheese, chicken(sandwich breast fillet you get in any local groceries or stores here), and fish salmon in different flavors, a good source of omega 3(you get it in a small tin can). You can choose these contents to make different type of sandwiches so I use to buy all this stuff and use to make sandwiches on weekend and I use to make heaps and heaps of them. I got so many meal boxes and stuff them in the refrigerator. I know, some of you guys may say, “oh refrigerated food is not healthy”. So guys, it’s better than eating nothing else.

    I use to buy heaps of coke zero and juices also and carry them before leaving for uni.

    For morning breakfast, somebody suggested me WeetBix/flakes etc. I have heaps of them like many boxes of weetbix. When I wake up in the morning, after taking shower and dressing up, I simply put some flakes or weetbix in milk, heat it in oven for 2 minutes and that’s it guys. You feel good in the morning, trust me.

    While Weetbix and sandwiches can cover your breakfast and lunch. For dinner, I use to come home and cook but most of the times if I am not able to cook, I use to buy something out like take away Indian, Chinese, Thai food etc. Also, I use to work for an Indian restaurant and as a gesture of good will, owner or people working there use to give me food sometimes free and many times on discounted rates.

    So guys, plan yourself and be smart and I don’t think much when it comes to spending on food. I think it is very essential so most of the times I even spend more than expected on food.

    Lastly, guys the author above is very true when she mentions that health is important because if you get sick in US, you have to spend much more than you would have ever spend on food, So think wisely and be healthy!!!

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