Given all the demands on your time, from classes to athletic practices, social engagements to study sessions, time management is an important skill to develop and apply. On the surface, it can seem unmanageable or even overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. All that is needed to create a schedule that works for you are the right tools.
Numerous studies show the benefits that planning ahead and being prepared provides for students. Taking just 15 minutes at the beginning of each week to record upcoming papers, quizzes or tests, and other assignments sets you up for success. Taking five minutes each morning to look over the day ahead allows you to make informed decisions about how to best use your time. Also, and perhaps most importantly, designating blocks of working time each day allows you to designate blocks of down time. That down time can be more rewarding because it is part of your planned day.
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Additional Tips for Managing Your Time
Pay attention to your distractions and try to put an end to them. Examples include:
- Placing your phone on silent mode when setting down to study or write
- Turning off notifications between your phone and your laptop/tablet when working
- Have a pen and notepad or post-its to write down the random thoughts so you can revisit them after you’ve completed your task
Do one thing at a time. If you are studying for Biology, the only items on your desk should be related to that course. Seeing a history book or a Literature assignment while trying to prepare for Biology could provide a distraction.
Take a break! Yes, you read that right. Taking breaks is proven to help you stay focused on your task. To learn more about this do a quick search on the Pomodoro TechniqueⓇ.
Pay attention to the time of day you are at your sharpest and most alert. Plan to work on your more challenging courses during that time when possible.
Last, set a point each day to stop working. Your brain thrives on routine and needs to rest. Your ability to remember depends on the quality of your sleep.
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