Let us begin with an example that will directly highlight the importance of time management. Is there an athlete who brings laurels playing a game without having practiced for months? Can a musician deliver a concert without having rehearsed? Do discoveries happen without innumerable failed trials? Persistence and the ability to manage time is that which can be effective in all endeavors taken up by students. Time management is the ability to use time effectively for various tasks while being able to prioritize each of them in order of importance.
All one needs a simple approach to time management, techniques of which are listed below.
Effective time management strategies to be followed-
- Do away with distractions.
Make conscious efforts not to get distracted whenever you are at work with something. Focus your complete attention on the task on hand and give it your best to ensure that it is completed within the given time frame. Put away the phone, television and other digital platforms to ensure that you make the best of the designated time.
- Assess your time on hand.
Many students genuinely believe that they always study a lot and all the time, which is indeed a farce. The only way it is possible to discover the number of free hours on a busy day is by carrying out a proper organized personal time assessment. First keep track of everything carried out for an entire week, from the time of waking up and then hitting the sack. This translates to recording every single detail and then calculating the total number of hours available. If you can track time getting wasted in activities other than studying, try and balance the schedule. Make small adjustments in your habits and behavior to get better control of your precious time.
- Organize your time.
Identify times of the day to carry out different tasks in line with your level of productivity. For example, some students are most alert during the dawn and hence can concentrate and focus to the maximum possible extent at this time. Set aside tasks that involve more focus and dedication for this time of the day. Essential time management skills begin with logic and a lot of observation of one’s self.
- Set your priorities straight.
The objective of time management is to allocate time wisely to get closer to your goals. If you wanted to be an Olympic athlete, you would have to practice several hours a day for years. Likewise, practical time management skills for students begins with a detailed, in-depth idea of study requirements. Even though there are various demands in terms of reading, writing, research, experiments, and exams for each subject, prioritizing each task increases the chances of success. Planning increases your awareness, making it less likely for you to squander time away meaninglessly.
- Make a schedule with the help of a calendar.
After establishing your priorities, set up a schedule on the same lines. There are a variety of student organizers, diaries, planners, electronic tools and time management systems that are available in the market. Choose or create a weekly planner that helps you see the big picture quickly and work on a system that you are comfortable with the following in mind-
- Mark in fixed commitments such as classes, seminars, tutorials, and part-time jobs.
- Block off large sections of the day, reserved for studying alone and review periods. Organize your peak study times to coincide with the times of day when you are most alert as discussed earlier.
- Include non-study activities which are still essential but are low priority items such as exercise, recreational classes, or socializing.
- Keep reviewing your progress.
Develop the habit of using some form of review cards with you to read over when you are waiting for when you are traveling or waiting in line at the bus stop, bank, supermarket, etc. However, the system of review works to ensure that you indulge in this to check if your time management strategies are working.
- Plan some downtime or buffer time.
Schedule some time to relax to rest and refresh your mind and body. This will enable you to study more effectively. If you so feel that you must indulge in more recreational activities, it is not entirely unfair to do so.
- Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.
A good night’s sleep is crucial to ensure that you are well-rested and rejuvenated after a tiresome day. A good 7-8 hours of sound sleep is recommended to gear and face the days ahead. Without adequate sleep, you will find yourself exhausted and there will be no point in working on time management.
The idea of time management is not uniform; there are no regimental rules to be followed. The more logical approach would be to assess and observe how much each one manages to accomplish in a given workday to then proceed a devise a plan to getter at it.