How to Manage Your Time in an MBA Program

September 14, 2015 |

Known for attracting some of the best and brightest minds in the country, an MBA program is a highly reputable and well-respected addition to the resume. But any student will tell you it’s no walk in the park. An MBA requires a lot of energy, time, and hard work. While our students are up to the challenge, it’s important to understand how to properly manage your time while in school. The following are 5 time-management tips designed to help you reach your end goal.

Planning your day, A day blank day planner with a blue pen

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

Preparing and sticking to a schedule is key to maintaining a structured life in every aspect: socially, at work, at home, and in your MBA program. A schedule is an investment that will save you a lot of time in the long run; it also helps you avoid the deadly cycle of procrastination, which will limit your progress and create unnecessary stress.

It’s recommended that you plan out your week before it starts to avoid any loss of spare time. Organize your school and study needs first and then schedule the remaining items around those time blocks. Also, remember to schedule in work and social time. Keeping at least 1 social date a week will help you relieve stress and recharge you for the obstacles ahead.

Prioritize Each Item

With so many items on your to-do list, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But a long list can be more manageable with some prioritization. Organize the items into 3 separate categories based on how soon they need to be done.

1 = Immediately

2 = In the near future

3 = Down the road

Once each item is ranked by importance, it’s easier to fit them into your schedule and you can begin knocking them out one at a time.

Mobile phone and car remote keys on wooden background

Prepare Each Night

Once you have the next day’s schedule set, it’s a good idea to take time to prepare for it the night before. This includes selecting your outfit, packing a lunch, having the coffee machine ready to go, and keeping your keys and phone right next to the door. Prepping nightly is a great way to start your day off right and give you a morning head start.

Understand Your Limitations

An MBA program is full of motivated go-getters but many have a slight flaw; they have a tendency to take on more than they should. While it’s tempting to kick things into overdrive and try to get done with your MBA as fast as possible, the long-term effects need to be considered first.

An MBA isn’t something that should be rushed. Be patient and understand what you’re taking on. The following are good ways to avoid pushing yourself beyond your capability:

Work the MBA at an even pace: Talk with your counselor beforehand and map out your classes for the entirety of the program so you know what to expect.

Don’t take on too many credit hours: Just because you may have done this for your undergrad, don’t assume it’s possible for a work-heavy MBA.

Learn to say no: If you’re asked to take on something additional, don’t be afraid to decline if it requires too much of your time and energy.


Make Your Health a Priority

A lot of MBA students struggle with this area because they feel it’s more useful to skimp on sleep and exercise in exchange for more studying time. Don’t fall into this trap! Not taking care of your body has negative effects on everything in your life, including your ability to focus, study, and maintain motivation. Make your health a priority. Always get 7-9 hours of sleep every night, eat a nutritious diet, and work out at least 3 times a week.

Choosing the right MBA for you is an important step. Each student is unique, which is why Daniel’s College of Business offers full-time, 1-year, professional, and executive MBA programs. Additional information and opportunity is waiting to be discovered with these top MBA options at the University of Denver.

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