4 Things You Can Do To Master The Most Important Skill To Survive In A B-School
It’s been over a month since I stepped inside IIM Indore aka Planet-I, and I feel I have already experienced a plethora of emotions. True to its perception, life at an IIM is truly hectic in every sense of the word. There are a lot of activities going on at the same time and it can become very difficult to prioritise one over the other, but that is what constitutes a major factor of b-school life – TIME MANAGEMENT!
Yes! It is the single most important factor that can make a huge difference with respect to how much a person can achieve and also find time for recreation given the huge number of opportunities. For a person like me, who was not very good at time management till about a month ago, I believe I have come a long way towards inculcating this skill in such a short span of time.
It is more so because the first term is supposed to be the toughest to adapt to out of all the terms spent here and there’s little or no time to adjust. With academic components like class participation (where people fight for nearly 0.005-0.01% of their grade in every class), quizzes, group assignments, class activities, and preparing case studies before classes, it can be very difficult to understand how quickly it is time for midterms. On top of this, there are batch meets, elections to clubs and committees, selections for coveted PORs (Positions of Responsibility), guest lectures, various knowledge building sessions, live projects and of course cultural events.
With so much on one’s plate, stress is bound to affect everyone at some point or the other. Unfortunately, the curriculum does not give one time to relax, sit back and just do nothing, especially in the first term. In fact, procrastinating is considered as a sin. But it is also not possible to be a part of everything going on in the campus.
Hence, it becomes even more important to weigh the virtual opportunity cost of every event or activity that has to be chosen. From my experience of the past month, here are a few pointers which I found useful to manage my time.
1) Know your strengths: Yes! It sounds easy but can be difficult to do at times. Before jumping into new arenas where you have limited or no knowledge, try to build your profile based on your strengths as that gives credibility to your CV.
2) Work in groups: People in a b-school come from diverse backgrounds. It can be productive to exchange knowledge with and learn from those with a different background from yours so that everyone learns in a short span of time.
3) Don’t blindly follow what others are doing: With the urge to get valuable CV points, everyone eagerly makes a lot of efforts in different areas but it is important to not get overwhelmed by what other people are doing and achieving. Try to get into clubs/activities/live projects which align with your interests and not do them under peer pressure alone. Directionless efforts are just a waste of time.
4) Sleep regularly: With the amount of workload, sleep generally comes last in the priority list but it isn’t feasible to be over-productive for some time and then, for example, end up missing lectures or sleeping during them. It only increases the amount of work to be covered up for later. Remember to take adequate rest regularly.
Lastly, I just want to add that despite the rigorous schedule, B-school is also very exciting as there is always something new to learn and look forward to. The learning gained doesn’t depend on how much you know when you join, but on how well you can learn to manage time efficiently on a daily basis.