As the saying goes, it’s not so much about working hard as it is about working smart. After all, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Einstein and Edison all had the same hours in a day that we do. What matters is how wisely and effectively you use them.
This especially goes for online culinary students trying to balance courses in addition to their work and family obligations and responsibilities. Sometimes it can be difficult to find an hour in the day for yourself let alone 5 hours to do an assignment. Never fear. With these tips, you can easily manage the time to bake your cake and eat it too (while binge watching your new favorite Netflix show).
Map Out Your Week
When asked, many students and graduates of the Certificate in Escoffier Online Culinary Arts Fundamentals program said their best time management tool was mapping out their week in advance. Once you have a grasp on what you have going on and when, pencil in a little coursework where you see free time. If you do this over the entire week, you’ll be more likely to finish your assignments in a timely manner, leaving you feeling accomplished and not stressed.
For the weeks where free time looks a little hazy, just do the best you can and make it work. You may have to sacrifice a little here and there but remember, it’s only one week. You can pick up your life again in just a couple days.
Procrastination Is Poison
One of the worst things you can do for your culinary school work and peace of mind is to wait to finish everything until the last minute. Not only are you not dedicating the appropriate time to course work–and your grades will reflect it–studies have linked the added stress to negatively effecting mental and physical health.
The best way to avoid it is to nip that bad habit in the bud from the very beginning. According to a piece in The Guardian, your best bet for fighting procrastination is to set up restrictions and minimize temptations. If that means locking yourself in the office until you’ve finished your reading, more power to you!
Make Small Goals
Just like with cooking, it takes many different steps to complete an assignment. You don’t just snap your fingers and voila! Coq au vin. Sporadically finishing small, achievable goals can make the task seem less overwhelming and help you fight procrastination. Consider it setting up your mise-en-place: tackle each bit of your assignment a little at a time, then throw it all into the pot and watch it become delicious soup.
Treat yourself! No one ever succeeded in life without a little indulgence. Setting up small rewards after you’ve accomplished a goal is a great way to stay motivated and avoid unproductivity. Whether it’s a piece of chocolate, watching a movie or a 20 minute nap, having something enticing to look forward to is the perfect way to stay on track. And don’t forget. As an online culinary school student, your greatest reward is getting to eat the assignment you complete!
You Snooze, You Succeed
Don’t skip on your snoozes! Sleeping is one of the most important things you can do on a daily basis, and we have science to back that up. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, sleep is absolutely necessary for healthy brain function and lack of it can lead to diminished learning. It also helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative: all very important traits for a burgeoning chef.
In a long list of other benefits, adequate sleep has been linked to maintaining good heart, kidney and metabolic health as well as decreases the risk of obesity and diabetes, increases immune system function, motivation and problem-solving skills.
Case in point: sleep = success.