Skip to main content
Co-operative Education

empty
Elvis standing in front of Simon Fraser University holding a camera
Elvis standing in front of Simon Fraser University holding a camera

My role as a Communications Assistant has it’s ups and downs especially during busy seasons of the school year where many events run consecutively one after the other. Time management and efficiency are nothing new for us students because we constantly must meet deadlines and make sure we balance work with school. Here are some tricks that I’ve used to help me improve efficiency and develop excellent time management throughout my Co-op term.

Make Tasks Interesting and be Interested in Doing Them

There will come times when mundane tasks become a part of your workflow and you may be tempted to put it off until the end. Don’t worry, I used to do that too! A trick that I use to make things interesting is to have a growth mindset and to gamify the tasks slightly. This might sound cliché in a way because the phrase “growth mindset” is tossed around a lot nowadays, but how I approach repetitive tasks is I create challenges for myself until it’s sort of like a game. For example, posting social media content each day can be repetitive and extremely boring. But instead of just mindlessly posting content with minimal effort, I would try to create challenges with some form of metric. In this case, the metric could be likes, shares, comments, views, impressions etc. Gamifying activities can be a great way to learn and encourage further exploration. By using that method, I’m able to extract more learning opportunities from repetitive tasks and stay interested in mundane tasks.

Find Out What Tasks you Enjoy Doing the Most

As a student, we will always find certain topics more interesting than others. When we become interested in a topic, doing homework related to that topic seems less of a chore. Using this approach to work is the same concept because there are tasks that we enjoy doing more than others. I would often check my daily tasks and rank them according to interest level. This allows me to visualize my efficiency when completing tasks because naturally we’re more efficient at doing tasks that we enjoy doing. It is also a great way gauge how much time to allocate for each task.

Alternate Tasks

Sometimes, the most efficient way of completing tasks in general is to have balance. For me, I like to alternate my tasks depending on interest level. For example, if I were given two tasks (task A and task B) with a deadline 2 days away, I would alternate between the two depending on which one I’m more interested in doing. Let’s say task A is something I enjoy doing the most. Then I would often start with task B to get it out of the way so I can get to task A. In my mind, I see task A as a reward to finishing task B, which gives me the motivation to get task B done quickly. This concept has helped me a lot with my workflow, and I’ve noticed an increase in my efficiency with work.

This 8-month Co-op term really helped to solidify my time management skills and efficiency because I was able to explore different work methods to fit my workflow. However, once I found a routine that worked for me, I stuck to it and began applying the same methods to other aspects of life whether that be school or hobbies. I hope the methods I mentioned come in handy and don’t be afraid to try different methods to come up with your own strategy!

Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

Giulia standing in front of a window
Blog
Applying for jobs outside your faculty: low risk, high reward

Meet Giulia Crovini, an Economics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Specifically, she highlights the many benefits of applying for positions outside of your faculty.

Ditij sitting at his desk
Blog
Opportunities are what you Make of it - An Interview with an Economics Student

Meet Ditij Beladiya, a student completing an Honours undergraduate degree with a Major in Economics, Concentration in Economic Data Analytics and Minor in Political Science. In this quick Q&A, Ditij shares about his co-op experience. Read about his interview, his day to day tasks and what he has learned.

Fatima standing in front of mountains
Blog
WHERE Are They Now: An Interview with a Former Master's Co-op Student

Many times, our co-op students graduate from our program, and use these experiences in future positions. Today, we will be interviewing a former student of ours, Fatima Sajid to see where she is now after graduation. Read about how her onboarding processes went, the skills she learnt and how her employers helped her develop said skills.

You Might Like These... International, Career Exploration, Academic Success, Personal Development, Professional Associations, Seeking

picture of a bunch of hand-painted bowls
International Studies: Experiences Abroad Set Students Apart

International Studies (IS) is a fairly new faculty at SFU. How can students in IS market their unique perspectives and skill set to potential employers? Read on for advice from Jan Bérubé, Manager of Academic & Administrative Services for the School for International Studies, and for some upcoming events with international-focused employers.

Suzanne smiling at her desk
Suzanne Young: A Co-op Student's Success Story

For Suzanne Young, SFUs Co-op program was an immense part of her undergraduate experience. As a graduate in Linguistics and French, she reflects back on her experiences as a Co-op student.

Monica smiling on the sands of a beach
Studying Down Under

Monica Hartanto spent a semester studying at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  Read about here experience here, and get tips on how you can study abroad too!

You Might Like These... Indigenous Community Stories

Graduation class
Q & A With a Metis Graduate

Sandy Coolidge is over 50, a mother of three, and now a graduate of NVIT's social work program. She shares her experiences as a Metis woman and student.

Photo of Aleeze Asif
The Journey from Business to Arts

Aleeze reflects on a major career decision that led her to switch majors from Businesss to SIAT and how that positively affected her life.

Stairs to the SFU Academic Quadrangle (AQ) during sunset
New to SFU? Here Are Three Helpful Tips to Assist You on Your Journey!

Vivian shares some tips and resources on how you can make your time at university more effective and relaxing.