7 Time Management Tips For Students

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If you ask your classmate where they struggle the most, most likely they will say – time management. Why so? It has to be. School, coaching, competitive exams and on top of it- trying to have a life. Gosh, even saying it was tiring, doing it is another ballgame. Let’s make it easy for you. What a bat is for a batsman, time management skills is for students—their weapon. 

Read on to get 7 tips to improve time management skills.

0. Know Yourself

This is step 0. Even before you start optimising your time, find where you waste it. Document your day to see where you spend how much time. You can simply pick up a paper and note down your daily activities like below.

20th March Summary:

6 AM – 9 AM      :    Browsed Instagram, Breakfast

9 AM – 12 PM    :     School

12 PM – 3 PM    :     School

3 PM – 6 PM      :     Sleep, Played video games on the phone, Phone calls

6 PM – 10 PM    :     Study, Dinner, Movie

This summary will help you to pinpoint which activity is eating up your time. The more detailed it is, the better it will help. You can do this activity for two to three days. 

1. Find Your Zone

After you have documented well, now find your timings. Don’t wake up at 5 AM because a YouTuber said it is the best time to study. If you wake up at 5 AM and feel sleepy, it’s not the right time for you. Wake up when you feel fresh and hopefully without an alarm. 

Evening work for you? Great.

Late at night? Perfect.

Early morning? Superb. 

Find out when you feel the most productive, energetic, and fresh. This simple time management tip will save you hours by not studying at odd hours. 

2. Craft Planning System And Pin Down Goals

A major source of procrastination while studying is either having too much to study or not knowing what to study. A planning system will cut down the time wasted on procrastination. Set clear monthly goals, then break them into weekly and daily goals. These goals will help you to reach the target faster. Remember, an athlete runs faster towards the end as the final line is viable.

You can use traditional systems like writing to-do lists on paper or white boards for planning. There are digital apps also available like Todoist, and Microsoft To Do

I am sharing a sample plan below for your better understanding. 

March monthly goal:

Complete  new chapters of Maths, Science, Social Science, English

March weekly goals:

March Week 1: Maths

March Week 2: Science

March Week 3: Social Science

March Week 4: English and Hindi

March daily goals(March 7th-13th):

Monday: Maths chapter 1

Tuesday: Maths chapter 2

Wednesday: Maths chapter 3

Thursday: Maths chapter 4

Friday: Maths chapter 5

Saturday: Revise

Sunday: Revise and relax

3. Set Up A Workspace

Having a dedicated place to study does a lot of magic. It gets you in the study mode and reduces distractions. Have a workspace for you that shouts as soon as you sit — time to study and ace the exam. Avoid working from bed. Try to have a table and chair. If you cannot avoid working from bed, you can get a bed table to sit properly, which is helpful in studies. 

4. Cut Down Distractions

Now comes your initial analysis handy. First, note where you waste time. 

Is it the TV? Then, sit in a room where you do not get any TV sound. Or request your family member to watch TV at a lesser volume.

Is the phone the culprit? Keep the phone away from you. 

If you are getting distracted by social media on your laptop, you can use extensions like Pause, which blocks the social media or any website you list as a distraction. 

Find the crime and ways to stay away from it. 

5. Deep Work

If you want to take just one point from the article, take this one. You study distracted for 5 hours v/s study with concentration for 1 hour. The latter is always better. Set goals for each study session and deep work until you achieve that. If you are getting distracted often, keep reminding yourself what’s important for this moment and keep an eye on the goal.

Multitasking is a solid no-no. A study conducted on 200 participants showed only 2.5 % of them could multitask efficiently. Rest show a significant dip in performance. Multitasking confuses your brain and doesn’t help you focus. I bet that 2.5% who did it fine were mothers(Love you, mom) because only they can multitask at a pro-level. Science backs it, no multitasking while studying.  

6. Plan Breaks

Breaks do not waste, but save time. They help you to perform better. Plan breaks in between study sessions. For example, you can follow the Pomodoro technique to study for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minutes break. This technique makes sure you get the best out of those 45 minutes. Use short breaks to stretch, dance, read a newspaper or do any other activity that brings down stress for you. 

7. Review Your System

No planning system is 100 %perfect. Your process continues to evolve with time. Review and find what works for you and what doesn’t. 

Do you feel more comfortable with a weekly plan than a monthly one? Sure, try that.

Does Pomodoro kill your focus? Ok, work for longer hours but keep stretching in between.

An evolved system will keep saving more time for you.

To recap:

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A famous quote says- Plans are nothing but planning is everything. No plan will work 100% perfect, but 80% also counts. Keep planning to save time and strike goals. 

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