Time Management Tips

Exams, quizzes, and many projects dominate a student’s world. Rare is the day containing significant free time. In fact it can be difficult to schedule time for sufficient sleep. If that weren’t enough, consideration must be made for social interaction, recreation, and perhaps even a job. Without effective time management getting everything done can be nigh impossible.

Time management becomes critical for a student as they approach the upper reaches of their academic career. With it they learn the proper steps and ideas on how to put time to constructive use, especially when in limited quantities. Time management skills are also useful in estimating the amount of time a certain activity will demand. This proves valuable later on life when schedules can become more hectic.

A student should strive to always have an accurate evaluation of their time. This permits the student to constantly track of their activities and maintain the ability to adapt to changes. With all the subjects and extra-curricular activities required of the average student, this is an important skill to learn.

Most students lacking in time management skills feel as if there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, or are always running behind. Thankfully this is easily remedied. Here are some tips for organizing time and converting panic into control:

• Learn to say no. It is not possible to do everything; trying to do so only leads to failure and frustration. Keep your long-term and short-term priorities in mind and select the activities you will undertake accordingly. There is a time and place for everything, but that time is not always now. It isn’t always necessary to refuse every recreational or non-academic activity, but picking fun over studies should only be done when time allows.

• A "to do" list should be a constant companion. Tracking tasks, goals, and responsibilities in writing is very important. Ranking each item according to priority is also useful as this makes it easy to see at a glance the order in which the list should be completed.

• Make intelligent use of spare time. Strive to never waste a single minute doing something unproductive. For example, extra reading can be done while riding the bus. If all the spare minutes in a day are gathered together and put to use with activities such as reading or study a student often finds those activities require no additional scheduling. Also, if long-term projects are approached in this manner early on they can often be completed with little to no additional scheduling.

• If a certain time of the day works best for certain activities, schedule them for that time. For example, if it is preferable to do reading in the morning while it is quiet schedule that time as reading time. This makes each activity more productive and enjoyable, increasing the likelihood of sticking to the schedule and being successful.

• Stress is the enemy. Worrying spends time unproductively. A key of time management is the peace of mind it brings. If time management fails to eliminate stress, avoid worrying or agonizing over the problem. Instead, find a solution and take action immediately. Never procrastinate a stress solution.

• A good night sleep is a deceptively easy and obvious step. Insufficient sleep results in irritability, stress, lack of concentration, and many other effects counter-productive to the accomplishment of goals. The extra energy derived from getting enough sleep can make daily activities fly by. Working faster saves time, allowing the savings to be allocated to other tasks or even recreation.

• Work to maintain a positive outlook. Try to schedule tasks to allow regular sense of accomplishment as each is completed. This helps to generate a sense of success. If the schedule is overly demanding, frustration and failure can result. The bad mood this can create reduces productivity or even lead to depression.

• Flexibility is perhaps the most important trait to cultivate. No plan survives the real world intact. It’s imperative to adapt to changes if the overriding purpose of the schedule - academic success – is to be met. This kind of on-the-fly organizational skill will prove critical to success later in life as well.

The faithful application of these techniques will help to ensure not only academic success, but peace of mind and a stress-free year.

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