After the first few weeks of a new school or college, you can vividly understand and know the feeling of dread that would creep in. After the glitz and glam of new schools and new friends fade, there is only one nagging question: ”How else am I going to accomplish it all?”
Unfortunately, a quick Google search for “time management strategies for students” turns very little useful information. Make a schedule for yourself. Prioritize. Make sure you get enough rest. These high-level suggestions can only take you away from what you really need to hear. You need to be more tactical if you want to maximize your time and get ahead on school projects.
For students (and everyone else), time management entails making the most of each day. It’s all about managing the time you do have and maximizing it for productivity, focus, and, most importantly, balance.
To assist you and to save your time, we’ve gathered the finest tips on how to stay focused, combat procrastination, and manage your time.
Plan your day using a ‘daily schedule form’
Although classes, seminars, and workshops may take up most of your day, how you plan your own time can make a significant difference. While much of the time management advice for students focus on making a to-do list, mastering your schedule is more crucial. You’ll feel more in control if you use a daily schedule template. It will assist you in staying organized, focusing on the most important tasks, and even overcoming procrastination.
Time blocking is the strategy of choice for many of the world’s most successful people, from Bill Gates to Elon Musk. Simply explained, time blocking is the process of planning out how you want to spend each and every minute of your day.
This may appear to be overpowering. It is, nevertheless, more of a framework than a set of rigorous laws. Here are some pointers to help you get started:
1. Create bookends” for each day in step one
To get the most out of your time, be deliberate about how you begin and end each day. Consider your morning and evening habits, and then “block” time for the chores that are most important to you.
2. Schedule time for your most critical initiatives
The next step is to schedule time for your most critical projects. This could entail anything from research to writing to something altogether different. The important thing is that you’re focused on what you’re doing and when it’ll happen.
You may now use RescueTime for Google Calendar to automatically trigger FocusTime sessions if you need help remaining focused during this period. Simply include #focustime in the event name or description in Google Calendar, and it will automatically block all distracting websites (such as social networking, YouTube, news, and entertainment) for the duration of the event.
3. Recognize how you’re currently spending your time (as well as where you’re wasting it)
Your plan will provide you with an ideal version of your day, but you must first understand how you spend your time in order to develop better time management practices. It’s tough to develop better time management tactics and stay focused without a clear grasp of where your time goes each day. You have two options for keeping track of your time:
- Spend a day or two manually recording how you spend each second of your day in a “time log.”
- To automatically log your time, use a free program like RescueTime.
You must track your food consumption in the same manner that a dieter must check their food intake to discover where they are sabotaging themselves.
4. Establish clear objectives to track your success
Setting goals is an excellent strategy to stay motivated in school. Unfortunately, the majority of us go about setting objectives in the wrong way. The issue is that goals are merely the outcome. They don’t provide any information regarding how you’ll get there.
Rather than starting with the end objective and moving backward, concentrate on what has to be done to meet and exceed it. To put it another way, what can you do every day to help you reach your ultimate goal? This entails concentrating on steady development and developing improved habits.
5. Break down enormous jobs into small chunks
Being able to break down enormous goals into everyday activities is an important part of good goal-setting. This not only helps you stay focused, but it can also assist you to avoid procrastinating. When a project feels overwhelming, it’s easy to postpone. Taking that first step, on the other hand, is generally all you need to get started.
“The best thing you can do is to start very small. Decide what the smallest, most doable next step is on a big project and then list out all the next steps along with a deadline for each.” - Laura Vanderkam, Time management Expert
If you need to write an in-depth article, for example, you might split it down into a few steps:
Find books on the subject in the library.
Take a look at their table of contents.
Make a list of your paragraph headings.
Make a summary of the first paragraph.
And so forth…
Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the eventual goal, each of these steps is realistic and can be scheduled into your daily calendar.
6. Watch out for the Planning Fallacy (i.e. you probably need more time than you think)
It’s tempting to be excessively optimistic about how much you can get done once you start scheduling your duties throughout your day. The Planning Fallacy is a term coined by psychologists to describe this phenomenon. For a variety of reasons, this is detrimental to your time management:
- When things take longer than expected, you’re more prone to become worried.
- To compensate for the extra time you spend, your schedule is moved back.
- You may take on too much work under the mistaken belief that you have more time than you do.
Work a buffer into your timetable based on your experience with the activity to avoid the Planning Fallacy. Give yourself 1-1.5X the time you anticipate it will take if it’s something you’ve done previously. Give yourself twice as much time if it’s something new.
7. Use the five minute rule to overcome procrastination
Procrastination is almost unavoidable. You don’t have to let it control your day, though. Instead, all it generally takes is a little willpower to get into the swing of things. As Ph. D student, Jonathan K. told us:
“I know if I can start working on a task and get invested in it then it’s easy for me to spend 3 or 4 productive hours on it.”
Try a few of these ways to get over feeling unmotivated:
- Follow the 5-minute rule, which was popularised by Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. This “rule” is reminding oneself that you will only work on a project for 5-minutes. In most circumstances, that will suffice to motivate you.
- When you first start working, keep distractions to a minimum. When you have social media and entertainment at your fingertips, procrastination is simpler. You may block distracting websites with a service like RescueTime when you first start working or at specified periods of the day so you don’t procrastinate.
If these do not work, don’t worry, because everyone has their own way to do things and we are sure, so have you. Management of time can be typical in this life full of hustle, but this is the right time and right place to start. As they say, time flies when you are having fun. This is true for an individual in every walk of life. We hope that you are able to achieve what you desire.