Time Management Tips for Students
As a student, you should be thinking about how to get better at time management and organize your days so you can strike the right balance between home, work and university life, given that there’s a lot of tasks to complete as a student. If you can make an effort to master some or all of these effective time management skills, you’re one step closer to being able to feel the benefits of what proper time management can do for you and establishing best practices for how to study.
Define and prioritize tasks.
The first stage of improving your time management is to list absolutely everything that you have to do. Most students tend to leave important tasks until the last minute, which can impact on the quality of their work and their overall grade. Include any university deadlines as well as any shifts you work on the list and make a note of how much time each task will take out of your schedule.
Set and follow a schedule.
Find an organizing tool that works well for you and add your list of priorities to it. It could be a pin-up planner, a timetable or a calendar on your phone. Try using time management apps that can help with this too. Think about when you are most alert, so that you can plan your study periods around these times. Make sure you put in time for family, jobs, and, most importantly, leisure. If you are under pressure, ask for help from your friends and family with your other activities/chores. You may be surprised just how happy they are to help so you can succeed.
Distractions are everywhere, especially in this digital age. There are many apps that can help lock you out of the internet if you can’t help but check your apps while trying to work or study. You can also try leaving your phone in a different room and create a specific location from where you will just work. It’s also a nice exercise when you’re with friends and family because you can truly be present with them. A very productive way to start your day is to spend the first hour of it phone-free, just doing the tasks you want to get done, uninterrupted and entirely focused.
For better time management, focus on one task at a time before switching to the next one. You can even time yourself and compare how much more you can get actually finished (or checked off your checklist) when compared to taking the “multitasking” approach. Neuroscience research has shown that multitasking is a myth. All that switching back and forth is more exhausting than staying focused and moving to the next task upon completion of the first.
Get enough rest.
Sleep actually helps increase productivity. Another effective time management skill for students is to take regular breaks while you work. Make sure you regularly break up your study day by grabbing a coffee or eating some fruit (a little spike of natural sugar is good brain food). Of course, don’t forget to drink lots of water, it’s full of oxygen!