Time management for a student seems such an odd concept, because surely their main task is to learn, and if that is what they are supposed to be dedicated their time towards then how can they find the time to mismanage their time. Between lectures, coursework, a social life, a love life, and a job, a student can find themselves at a loss for time. Time management is the key to success for a student who is not silly enough to lose sleep in return for getting more time. HEre are my best tme management tips for students.
1. Lose Your Games Console
Besides the time you waste on social media, your games console is your biggest time vampire and you need to accept it and leave it in your parent’s attic. It may be a great social tool for getting all of your friends into your dorm, and it may be the only pleasure you get out of life, but it is a time vampire nonetheless. Some students believe that they can use their games console as a motivation device. They will promise themselves some time on their games console in return for doing some work, but this motivation device never works because it makes studying appear a lot more like work than it actually is. You are making your study periods into a slog instead of a learning experience.
2. Create a Timeline
This is similar to a to-do list but it is far more literal and physical for you to use. It enables you to see what you have done and what needs to be done. You can also add things into it and rearrange your day/week/month to suit. It allows you to see the things that you have done, which is a great motivational tool. Seeing what you have done is also a good way of stopping you from attempting to do similar tasks again in the future.
3. Build a List
Do not make this a to-do list. You must make this into a list that details all of the things that you want to do, but that are in no particular order or priority. Every time you remember that you have to do something, you should write it on your list. When you are compiling your timeline, you may add things from the list. The primary function of the list is to enable you to note down things that need to be done as you think of them, and so that when you do have time to yourself, you can look at the list and pick a thing to do.
4. Time Yourself
If you time how long your tasks take you then you will get better at judging how long certain tasks will take. You can use this in your future planning efforts. You should also time yourself so that you can beat that time next time. This is a good little time management tool for figuring out how much time you waste too, as you will often be surprised at how long simple tasks take you.
5. Do the Most Important Stuff First and Anything else Never
Always do the most important tasks first, and if this means that all other tasks are relegated to never getting done then so be it. You can waste a lot of time doing things that are not essential. Always do your most important tasks first, and then any left over time can be used and divided between your less essential and less important tasks.
6. Keep Your Room Clean
The amount of time that human beings spend looking for things is phenomenal, and not having a clean dorm room is going to increase that time ten-fold. Keep your dorm room clean and organized or you are going to waste a lot of time looking for stuff that you thought you remembered where you left.
7. Do Not Put off a Task Unless You Are Willing to Write It off
If you cannot do a task straight away then do it right after what you are doing now. Putting off tasks is the best way to fill up your diary with stuff that you do not want to do. It is a very efficient way of being late for tasks too, so your best bet is to do any give task straight away or write it off and do not do it. You will find it very liberating to write tasks off and decide not to do them. You will find that it gives you a lot more free time.
8. Set up Predetermined Break Periods and Make Sure You Take Them
Break periods do actually have a large benefit, although theories why are rather sketchy as to a reason. Suffice it to say that you should take break periods at set and specific times. If you also find yourself struggling to stay awake or maintain your attention then you should take a break. You may find it hard to get back to work but you will be surprised at how much time you save by doing this method.
9. Break a Task down into Chunks
A task always looks bigger until you break it down into smaller chunks and have a go at the chunks. Whenever a task seems too big, you should simply break it down into smaller chunks and tackle the smaller chunks one at a time. The progress you make in your task will help to motivate you to keep going, whilst the smaller chunks means that you can apply a sharper focus to your tasks.
10. Start with Nonsense
Starting a task is the hardest part and sometimes getting past that first feeling of “I cannot do it” can be a massive time waster, especially if you are in the habit of doing it. This is why you need to start at all costs, which you can do if you start with nonsense. If you have a blank screen on your PC then you should start by typing down your thoughts, even if they are unrelated. You will find that once you make a start that the task seems to go a lot quicker.