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Managing Time

Use Your Commute: Ways to take care of yourself and finish coursework in transit

Though commuting can be stressful, you can build valuable problem-solving and time management skills in the process. Here are a few ways to benefit from travel time:

Get organized and practice self-care

  • Prepare lunch and lay out your clothes the night before class
  • Turn off your screens and go to bed at a reasonable time
  • Get up early and eat something for breakfast
  • Consider traveling with a friend or carpooling to stay on schedule 

Rest and relax on the bus

  • Listen to music or meditation podcasts
  • Read and/or write in a journal 
  • Make a list of the day’s tasks
  • Meet and travel with a friend to catch up

Do micro-studying tasks in transit

  • Create a table to collate concepts and ideas from class 
  • Draw a mind-map to connect ideas from within the same course and between courses
  • Draw Venn diagrams to explore similarities and differences between concepts
  • Test yourself or challenge a friend to recall facts over messenger
  • Write study questions that force you to think (not just remember). Here are examples:

Level 1: Summary / Definition / Fact Questions 

  • What is the definition of…? 
  • Who did…? 
  • When did… occur? 
  • How much/many? 
  • What is an example of…? 

Level 2: Analysis / Interpretation Questions 

  • How did… occur? 
  • Why does… occur? 
  • How does… function? 
  • What are types or examples of…? 
  • What are the results when… occurs? 

Level 3: Hypothesis / Prediction Questions 

  • If… occurs, then what would happen? 
  • If… changed, then what would change? 
  • What does Theory X predict will happen? 
  • What hypothesis or theory explains this data or given information? 

Level 4: Critical Analysis / Evaluation / Opinion Questions 

  • Is… correct or incorrect and why? 
  • Is… effective or ineffective and why? 
  • Is… applicable or not applicable and why? 
  • Is… proven or not proven and why? 
  • Is… ethical or unethical and why? 
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of… and why? 
  • What is the best solution to the problem, conflict, or issue and why? 
  • What is my opinion? What is the support for my opinion? 

Improve your writing and study skills! Book an appointment with a writing advisor and/or academic coach on OSCARplus.  Questions? Email skills@mcmaster.ca

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