Time Management Tips for Students

Have you ever woken up one morning, as a student, to the realization that exams are just around the corner and you aren’t even close to finishing the scheme of work for all your numerous courses? And you panic and bemoan your fate and you wonder what sorcery those really good students in your class use to get ready in time and score high grades.

What if I told you I knew the secret to their success? The magic behind the A’s.

Ok, ok, I’ll tell you, it’s pretty simple really. Just two words in fact.

Time Management.

Your success as a student depends on a lot of factors, but I believe the most important is; your ability to manage time. The concept of time management may look very simple on the outside but in depth, it is not an easy task.

It is no news that a lot of students struggle to find adequate time to complete all their assignments and ensure necessary preparations (study) are carried out in order to do well in tests and exams. More often than not, these students do not plan their time properly. Thus they always end up as victims of their own unpreparedness. Due to the onset of a major test or exam, they tend to suffer overwhelming feelings of stress and frustration which make these students perform poorly.

The digital age we live in creates more distractions than ever before for everyone; including students. Although the internet has its advantages; making us more aware of the happenings globally, it is becoming more difficult for students to concentrate with it at their disposal. Therefore, every student has to put in extra effort to ensure they are productive. To do this, you have to get rid of old habits and form new ones.

It is therefore important for every student to develop good time management skills to help them prioritize tasks so that they are able to complete school projects in time and eliminate procrastination.

To help in that regard, I have written a short list of tips that should help you become better at managing time as a student.

1. Keep an ongoing list of every single thing you have to do: Using a calendar is the best way to plan your day. This would help you schedule all your appointments and remember them. You can decide to factor in extra time incase an activity takes a longer time than expected (remember not to go overboard with the extra time). Also, remember to include your study session into the list; this would help you study in blocks and devote different times to different subjects. Lastly, you should have a checklist set up. Tasks to be achieved are infused into the check list and checked off one by one once completed. This gives you some sense of satisfaction and motivation as you make progress into completing other tasks ahead.

2. Eliminate distractions: Cell phones, social media, friends and a bunch of other things may distract you from completing a task. Always get rid of things that will distract you from doing your work. When its study time, always put your phone away unless you are expecting an important call. Even so, you must stay off social media. You can do this by; cutting the internet connection on your phone, deleting all social media apps on your phone and iPad or muting notifications from all social media apps. When you use your phone to aid your understanding of a concept; studying by watching Youtube videos or ‘googling’ materials, avoid the urge to check your messages, always limit yourself to accessing only school related things. A lot of students find it very difficult to say no. Do not entertain visitors, and turn down invites to parties, movie time with friends and gaming during your study hours. Indulge in fun activities during your free period. This will help you make the most of your study time.

3. Always be focused at the task at hand: When you are focused on what you are doing, time will seem to fly by; this mental state is called the “flow”. The flow makes you feel energized and motivated. It also increases enjoyment of the activity. Resist the urge to take on many tasks at once, tagging it “multitasking”. This will slow you down and you might end up not completing the tasks for that day. Look at your calendar; check what you marked out to be done at that particular time, do it and move to the next one after it is completed.

4. Set goals for each study session: You should set specific achievable goals for a study session. How many books, assignments and math problems you would have completed at the end of the day. This keeps you active and motivated as you are bent towards achieving your set goal.

5. Get up to 8hrs of sleep: Research has proven that a lack of sleep affects your concentration, memory, mood and overall health. Sleep is important to help rejuvenate the mind and body. It also ensures that that your mind in rested enough and fresh for the next day. You should master the act of sleeping at least 8hrs every night; it would be hard to concentrate if you don’t. Resist the urge to study through the night; this is less productive than continuous study and will make you less productive the next day. Mark out sleep time on your calendar, this will always remind you that you are not a machine and should be resting at that particular time.

6. Start early in the day: You are encouraged to always start your assignments and prepare for a test on time. This will help you avoid the stress that comes with hurrying to finish your assignments. Also, when you start preparing for a test early, you keep yourself from experiencing unnecessary pressure that comes with being unprepared well enough for an exam.

7. Eat right: it is not just enough to eat. Most students go through the day, eating junk food. Realize you are doing brain work and would need as much good, solid food as possible. Do not miss breakfast; it is the most important meal of the day. Eat a balanced diet, eat lot of fruits and vegetables. This will give your brain a constant supply of glucose which is good for your brain. Once your brain and body have enough energy you will be able to understand things better.

Time management isn’t something every student should want to learn. It’s something every student needs to learn. More often than not, it is what separates high flying students from the average ones.