Student life can feel chaotic at the best of times, so it’s no wonder that you’re finding it hard to manage your time. With so much going on, how do you manage to do it all? These easy rules show you that there is a way to get the most out of the college experience while keeping your grades up, too.
Track your time
Everyone can manage to get good grades and be social, they just need to manage their time effectively. If you think you need some help, start with tracking your time. This means spending a week marking off the activity you’re doing every 15 minutes, either in a notebook or on your phone. After a week, you’ll be able to see how much time you’re devoting to each activity, and where you need to start making changes.
Set a schedule
Now you know where you need to be spending your time, so make yourself a schedule. A day planner or a large wall calendar can work well for this. Mark off any important dates, such as exams or quizzes. Then, create your schedule around these. You want to make sure you’re marking out enough time for studying but ensure you get rest periods, too.
Set realistic goals
Now, you’ll need some goals to work towards. What do you really want to get out of school? write down all the things you want to achieve. Now, set some goals that are realistic. To be realistic, a goal needs to be attainable, and possible within the school year. ‘Spend x amount of hours a week studying’ is a better goal than ‘Study as much as possible’, for example.
Make the most of your break times
Despite everything you may already believe, social media platforms, such as Facebook, are the tools of the Internet. There are multiple ways you can use these tools to effectively manage your time. If you’re on a break from work, reply to messages from your friends, planning a time you could meet up after your studying is done, or watch a funny video whilst having a break from your textbooks. This way you can maintain a social life whilst studying.
Pay attention to your environment
When you begin studying, find a place that’s quiet and free from distractions. The library could be a good spot or a quiet room in your house. Wherever you choose to study, make it a habit. That way, your mind will associate the area with getting down to work.
Carry ‘pocket work’
Student and website admin Sarah B. Debellis from Best Australian Writers says, ‘Pocket work is anything that you can handle when you have a spare moment. As a student, it can mean reading a chapter from an assigned text, or reviewing your marks from a previous assignment.’ If you have this work with you, you can make the most of any spare moment to get some studying done. Why waste that time stood in line or on the bus, when you could get ahead?
Recognise that procrastination is self-defeating
Every student is familiar with the concept of procrastination. It’s easy to put jobs off for later, and not think about it. However, to truly master time management, you need to recognise that procrastination is really self-defeating. You get a break in the short-term, but the work will still be waiting for you, and you’ll have less time to complete it in.
Give yourself a break
Having said this though, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a break. In fact, it’s better to give yourself regular breaks or your studying won’t be effective. The key is to schedule them in and stick to the time allotted. Around 5-10 minutes break per hour of studying is usually the best ratio, so give it a try.
Reward yourself for sticking to schedule
It’s easier to stick to your time management schedule when you have something to look forward to. Create rewards that will incentivize you to get on with your work. This can be anything from a candy bar if you finish this evening’s studying, to a theme park trip if you pass your exams.
Break projects down
If your work seems too big and overwhelming to deal with, don’t worry. You can make it easier by breaking the whole project down. Create smaller tasks that will help you towards completing the bigger one, and complete them one by one. This way, you’ll see the results much more quickly, and be less tempted to procrastinate.
With these tips, you can get the most out of your day, and balance your studying and social life. Give them a try for yourself.