A huge amount of tasks, clutter on the desktop, disruption of project deadlines, stress and tension, and sometimes boredom… All of this is integral companions of student everyday life. Eventually, it seems that you’ve made nothing and forgotten about something important. It’s often true for many of us.
Studying at a university, you face the same difficulties: how do you plan your time more effectively to maximize your success?
First of all, ask yourself these questions:
• Do you think that you’re overloaded?
• Can’t you find a balance between personal life and study?
• Do you experience stress due to your busy study schedule?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the questions and the lack of time annoys you, you need to get to know about time management for students.
If you manage your time efficiently, you can study better, as well as have more time for everything. And that’s true! You’ll no longer have to feel guilty because you’ve spent time on your hobbies instead of your studies. Time management answers the question of how to complete all academic assignments in 2 hours, take a walk with friends, drink beer, make pizza, and play your favorite game. Interested? Then check out these time management tips for students.
Jim Carrey’s hero in the “Always Say Yes!” movie suffered from an excess of free time. Therefore, he happily filled his life with interesting events. But you don’t have this time – so don’t take it away from yourself even more! If some business or people aren’t included in your urgent plan of activities, it’s better to immediately say “NO” to them. And don’t think that you may be misunderstood. Be polite and make the person understands that you’re not rejecting him personally, but the meeting.
Keep track of what you spend your work and free time on. Note activities that are devourers of your time (for instance, scrolling through Instagram for hours, aimlessly switching TV channels, uninteresting conversations, etc.). Make a rating of such worthless activities, calling it “I’ll never do this again”, noting those things that don’t bring you any benefit.
It’s important to learn to refuse and say “no” to some tasks (and people). Yes, it’s rather complicated. But very soon you’ll realize that nothing bad happens, and your life becomes more comfortable.
We often say: “If only I had 25 hours a day! Then I would have done it all”. But even if you add one hour, you won’t keep up-to-date with work if you can’t manage time properly. Why are there people who have the same 24 hours in a day, but who’re doing much more than you? Personal productivity doesn’t depend on the number of hours in a day. In depends on our managing time ability.
Try to estimate how much time and effort your studying activities will take to plan the most effective time for routine tasks. Just analyze your daily routine, your condition, and mood at different times of the day, and choose the right moment for study following your needs.
Each person has his biorhythms. Determine the peak of your activity. Are you an early riser or a night owl? When can you work with full efficiency? Thus, you can do a lot of planned things in a short period.
The basis of time management for college students is planning. First of all, map out your day and make a list of the things you need to do. Someone might think it’s boring, and someone will say that they remember everything. But don’t neglect planning if you don’t want to have your head in a muddle.
An important academic project, a persnickety professor with a bunch of tasks, several planned essays, constant calls, visitors, and distractions… All this can easily unbalance even the most stress-resistant person.
First of all, write out all the things that you’re afraid to forget about. So get you can your head straight about things. After seeing the entire amount of work, you can evaluate it and find the best solutions. When you planned the day, pay attention to the significance of each task. Prioritize your tasks to succeed in your plans even on the busiest days.
This tip follows from the previous one. Be sure to make a to-do list, assigning priorities. Working with a list of scheduled tasks increases productivity by 25%! From the evening, prepare a to-do list for tomorrow. So you’ll always know where to start your day.
Continue to work with the compiled list throughout the day: when a new case appears, add it to the list taking into account the priority of previously planned tasks. Having completed one thing from the list, be sure to cross it off. This will give you a feeling of satisfaction with your work, add enthusiasm, and extra energy. Plan affairs from larger to smaller, from long-term to short-term, from life goals to daily plans. Set a fixed deadline for each task. Always divide a difficult task into small subtasks.
Before you start doing anything, remember the 10/90 rule: 10% of the time spent on task planning will save 90% of the time for fulfilling it.
I advise you to use a calendar or task scheduler in which there is a place for each type of task: for long-term goals, daily affairs, notes, and ideas, as well as for addresses and phone numbers. You can also use special apps for your smartphone. The phone should optimize time, not take it away. We live the age of high technology – resources must be used. So planning a day will be even more convenient and faster! You’ll always have your to-do list at hand.
Of course, you don’t need to schedule every hour of the working day. But a plan and a list of tasks will greatly facilitate your work. They allow you to track the progress, effectiveness and amount of work needed to achieve your goals. Imagine this is like building a bridge. Of course, you can try to construct it without calculations and plans, but the result won’t be appropriate.
The purpose of time management in college is to determine the main thing. I’ve already talked about the importance of planning and prioritization. Now I’m talking about the need for attention focusing. When you’re a student, you have very diverse tasks and problems. It can be very difficult to concentrate on one thing, without paying attention to everything else.
Most people have no trouble with attention span. They have difficulty making decisions. Have you ever had a task that needed to be completed at all costs? Most likely, you fulfilled it because the deadline decided for you.
We can force ourselves to focus on work if we remove from the way everything that distracts us. Turn off the music, put your smartphone away, stop talking to your roommate. Get rid of procrastination and you’ll be surprised how much free time you have.
It’s cool to be a person who can solve a lot of things at the same time, right? But in fact, multitasking is a myth. It doesn’t make you more effective. Only concentration is important.
Mozart could work on three compositions at once and create real masterpieces. But this is the exception rather than the rule. Bach, Haydn or Verdi could only work on one thing at once. They didn’t start working on the next work without completing the previous one. Don’t think that you’re an exception too. Stay focused on one thing.
Leaving something unfinished, you reduce your effectiveness by 5 times. Use the law of forced efficiency. It says that there is never enough time for everything, but it’s always enough for the most important thing. You need to gather yourself up and start to do tasks primarily those that will bring the greatest benefit and result.
Divide large tasks into small ones. Difficult tasks hang over your head like a sword of Damocles. It’s scary to start them and you constantly put them off for later. Sounds familiar? Perform each task systematically and see how quickly you achieve the result. Start with the simplest one. So it’ll be easier for you to get involved in work.
They say that to become a great manager you need to act by proxy. What does it mean and how to apply this? I’ll explain.
All students pass exams several times a year. In a short period, the student needs to master the material and explain it on the exam. Instead of reading the teacher’s book for 6 hours, it’s better to go to him and talk about this topic. He’ll tell you all his thoughts outlined in the book in 30 minutes!
Also, I agree with fellow students to share assignments or do them together. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Defeating procrastination is very difficult. Chronic laziness is what the word procrastination means. If you constantly ask yourself, “why am I procrastinating, instead of doing the work on time and then resting calmly”, then you simply don’t have enough motivation. So try to motivate yourself! For example, come up with some kind of encouragement for yourself. It can be something delicious, a new episode of your favorite TV show, a slap upside the head an annoying roommate – whatever. The size of such a “reward” must be consistent with the importance of the task.
If you prefer a stick rather than a carrot, come up with strict punishment for crapping around. Of course, you don’t have to cut off your hand, but you can give up a planned meeting with friends in your favorite pub. If the task isn’t done on time, there’s no entertainment.
Perhaps this method will help you focus and not be distracted.
Surprisingly, the rest is directly proportional to work efficiency. After all, if a person has a good rest, he works better, and he manages everything. Think that you’re tired and you need a day off? It’s better to take it.
Don’t panic if there are more tasks that you can complete. Take a deep breath and say to yourself: “I can only what I can”. Studying or working to exhaustion isn’t an option. Just time management isn’t enough for productivity. Take care of your health and keep fit. Take the time you need for relaxation, entertainment, communication with family and friends.
Another way to successfully focus on work is to meditate. According to scientists, daily meditation improves brain function and increases the ability to concentrate. So if you feel that your energy level’s almost down to nothing, try to meditate.
Time management may seem like a difficult skill, but you don’t need to change everything at once. Start with one thing and try to turn it into a habit. Remember, if one tip works for someone, it may not be right for you. It’s important to try and find unique ways to solve the problem. Over time, you’ll learn to relate to deadlines as to an opportunity for self-development, and not as to an additional burden.
Don’t try to immediately map out every minute of your day. Believe me, time management isn’t a boring routine and a terrible limitation. This is a tool that can make your life easier and more relaxed – you’ll see for yourself!