Some students develop impressive self-organizational skills while still studying in school; the others, however, aren’t so lucky. And it isn’t surprising as time-management isn’t taught in school these days. Moreover, the importance of it isn’t emphasized enough, so some students might not even think they need it.
That is until they find themselves facing a number of college assignments, of course.
Though it’s not a secret that college is often more challenging than school and there is a bigger academic workload, some students still find themselves shocked by the number of tasks they need to complete now. So if you don’t know how to manage your time effectively, you might find yourself willing to learn new skills in order to survive college years. Lucky for you, there is a way.
So here’s what you can do to become more effective and find more time for studies.
1. Find out where your time goes.
We all have the same 24-hour day, but while some can do a lot of things during these hours, the others struggle to complete their basic duties. In order to find out why this happens, you need to understand what you’re spending your time on.
We rarely notice that – and that’s where the problem lies. The trick is that we often spend more time than we think of doing things that don’t benefit us and that we don’t even like that much. For example, a chat with a friend can brighten your day, assuming you will still concentrate on your duties in-between. Mindless web surfing, however, won’t make you happier or smarter, as most of us don’t even remember the things they’ve read online during such surfing.
So your first goal is to find out what you do during these 24 hours. The best way to do so is to write down everything you do along with how much time it takes. You can do this on paper or on your phone, whichever seems the most convenient.
Of course, you shouldn’t list every minute of your time, but still, try to write down all the basic things, be it cleaning, showering or web surfing. Do this for a week or two to get a clearer picture. Most likely, you’ll be very surprised by the results.
2. Find the way to optimize your time.
Now that you know where your time goes, it will be easier for you to find a way to optimize it. While you do so, keep in mind that your priorities matter and that you need to rest as well.
One of the biggest mistakes students make while trying to become more productive is focusing on things that are considered useful by others. Sure, studying is important, and you definitely need to find time for that. Investing time in your hobbies, however, is also important – what if you decide to turn them into a career later? And even if not, that’s a good way to rest. The same goes for walks and workouts – they give you energy and are important for your health, so cutting them out of your daily schedule won’t be a good option.
Don’t forget about the rest too. Sure, spending the whole evening watching Netflix might not be a good idea, but not resting at all is not a good idea too. Proper rest allows us to de-stress and to restore our energy levels. So while watching all episodes of a new TV show is a definite «no», watching one episode per day won’t harm you.
So look at your notes once again and try to figure out what you can do to become more productive. Maybe you should spend less time on social media? Maybe you should cook your food once a day, not three times a day? Maybe it’s better to clean your room for 10 minutes every day than to spend the whole weekend cleaning it?
3. Write a schedule.
After you’ve detected routines that you can cut down a bit in order to save some time, you can write a schedule using this knowledge. Keep in mind that a schedule shouldn’t be too strict, otherwise, you might start panicking when you won’t be able to stick to it well. So instead of scheduling 45 minutes for writing an essay, try scheduling an hour. Instead of planning everything, from breakfast to morning shower, schedule a chunk of time for «morning routine».
The notes you’ve been taking for the past few weeks could help you make your schedule as accurate as possible. If you didn’t know how much time it takes for you to write an essay, now you only need to look into your notes to find this out.
Also, keep in mind that you might not be able to create a great schedule right from the start, and that’s okay. It works differently for everyone, so experiment to find out what’s best for you.
4. Eliminate distractions.
Some of us can focus well enough on our own but it doesn’t work just as great for everyone. There are plenty of people that get distracted easily and find it incredibly hard to return to their duties, and if you’re one of them, you need to learn how to eliminate distractions.
The first and the most obvious thing you should do is turn off your phone’s notifications. If something urgent happens, people will still find a way to reach you – however, there’s a small chance that such thing will happen during a couple of hours of your studying.
The second thing that can help you is timers like Pomodoro one or 30/30. You can turn them on and do your best to focus on studying during a certain amount of time.
The third thing you might want to use is productivity apps like Focus, SelfControl or RescueTime. The first two block distracting apps and websites, while the third one analyzes the activity on your laptop or PC and shows how productive you’ve been during the day.
Of course, it takes more than just a plan and a couple of tools to become really productive. In the end, it’s all about your desire to make the most out of your studies and to work hard to achieve that.
However, if you use the tips listed above and put some efforts, you will definitely succeed. Do you consider these tips useful? Maybe you have something you want to share with us as well? In this case, please do so in the comments below.
| About the Guest Author:
Mollie Porein is a professional content writer for EliteEssayWriters. She is engaged in writing articles on educational and marketing topics, thereby sharing her experience with readers. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.