If there was one piece of advice I would offer new grad students, it would be to develop good time management skills. As adults, grad students often have numerous personal and professional commitments that compete for time in their daily routine. The most successful grad students I know set a weekly schedule for themselves and stick to it.
A friend of mine who recently completed her doctoral program kept a weekly calendar where she scheduled her classes, time to study and complete assignments, work out, run errands, spend time with family and pursue her hobbies. Yes, that’s right. She even scheduled her personal time. While at first this might seem a little obsessive,when you think about it, it’s a really effective way to keep track of how you use your time. And time management becomes even more important as you approach the dissertation phase of your grad career, when you have lots of “free” time that is quickly eaten up by the mundane events of daily life, leaving you with little time to work on your dissertation.
Making a schedule and sticking to it is a great way to ensure you use your time wisely.