Time Management for Students
Time waits for no one and it’s so true. Just look at the calendar and you’ll realise what I’m trying to say. It’s already the end of October; another two months and this year comes to an end, just like that. Like Jim Rohn says, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” Time and tide wait for no one. It’s for us to decide how we want to use our time.
Good time management
Time is the most powerful tool we have with us to sculpt our lives and yet we don’t realise it till it’s very late. We can’t stop talking about time management and driving our kids nuts. But managing time is something which needs regular practice and deliberate actions. It needs sensible planning and conscious decision-making. One has to be focused and know what needs to be prioritised. Getting distracted doesn’t help. Start with planning your day, then try planning the week and then the month. Experiment with different schedules to see what works for you.
Purpose for time management
It sounds like a grown-up thing, talking about prioritising and decision-making, but it’s not. It’s for all students, from primary to college. It’s an important life skill and one that needs to be learned at the earliest to make sure that the years ahead are more enjoyable. It teaches one to improve the effectiveness of efforts, and get better results, with lesser time spent. No last-minute scrambling looking for notes or trying to revise everything in the two days before the exams. In short, the purpose of time management is to prepare us for the life ahead, well in time!
Importance for students
At the risk of sounding cliched, I can’t stress enough the importance of time management as a vital life skill for everyone, especially students. It’s a chain reaction which starts with making you more confident and that’s because you’re better prepared. Being better prepared comes from being more organised. For that, one needs to work more efficiently. One can work efficiently only if one knows what to do and when. In short, it makes one a confident, better-prepared, organised, focused and efficient worker.
Why is it difficult to follow?
If there are so many benefits in time management, then why is it so difficult for the students to follow it? Why is it that most of them falter when it comes to managing their time? Simple, it needs regular effort; there are no shortcuts to success. It’s not something which can be done one day and not the next. Managing one’s time is a continuous process for as long as you live. It’s a habit and habits need regular practice to become a part of our personality.
Tips for effective time management
It’s a common lament one gets to hear – “Oh, I wish I had done this yesterday” or “I should’ve done this earlier”. I mean it’s ok not to have a super organised or regimented life, but a little planning never harmed anyone. If there’s an upcoming task, event or even a celebration or festival coming up, all it needs is a few minutes to plan out what is needed. The plans can be further fine-tuned but first have a plan. Writing it down helps to organise the work, and prioritise them.
Wanting to do something is halfway there. Set a target with time limits. Complete this lesson in 4 days or finish the worksheets in 1 hour. Whatever is your goal, set clear time limits. This helps to manage time properly. Without a target, it’s just another job to be done and will be done as and when you feel like it. Set an achievable target, something which will push you out of your comfort zone yet not be overwhelming or unachievable. An absolute NO for effective time management.
Set time blocks in your schedule
Making a schedule is the best way to make use of your time effectively. Create a schedule for yourself. Make time blocks in your daily schedule for different activities – study (3 pm to 5 pm), play (5 pm to 7 pm), and revisions (8 pm to 9 pm). You decide the time slots, it’s your day. But try to stick to it, which is more important to avoid wasting time. Download the weekly planner to help you start off.
Create a daily planner
Yes, it’s as simple as that. What do I do today? Well, it should be clear at the start of the day what you want to do and how you want to use your 24 hours. I swear by my organiser. When I sit down to start my day, I take 5 minutes to write down all the things that need to be done in my daily calendar and block the time for each activity/task. That way the work gets distributed over the day, and it looks manageable. My organiser and I have been the butt of many a joke but it’s my lifesaver, so no complaints there!
Time is the most precious commodity. There’s no replacing it. If it’s lost it’s lost forever. But if we learn to use it well, then the returns are immeasurable. Try a little experiment and see the results for yourselves. Make a schedule for yourself for a week (stick to the working days for now; weekends can totally upset any plans) and try to adhere to it. At the end of the week, compare. Compare what you had planned, or scheduled, to do and what you have actually done. If you’ve been able to do most of the things, then congratulations. You’ve discovered something about yourself and learned an important life skill.
One thing at a time
Don’t cram your daily schedule with too many activities or with large jobs. Break them up into smaller, doable tasks. Then it becomes manageable, and you don’t put it off. Like instead of targeting completing the lesson in 2 days, break it into sections and allot time slots daily. Or use the time slot for maths for solving just one or two exercises. Whatever suits you do that but be mindful of the time. Take small steps to reach the goal. Also, by achieving daily goals, you can stay motivated and focused, and not get overwhelmed.
Identify time wasters
Social media and television right now are the biggest culprits. And since we can’t do away with them, we must find a way to live with them and still have a life. So, what to do? Simple, schedule a time block in your day for such activities. Don’t totally give it up but restrict the time. Along with all the important things to do, schedule a time slot for your social media/television in your daily schedule and then stick to it.
Take breaks regularly and wisely
Breaks are as important as the work itself. Make sure you cater for them in your schedule. Use this time to do something different to help refresh your mind. If you’ve been studying for some time, then take a break and interact with others around you instead of picking up the phone. Do a few stretching exercises or even go for a run (if it’s possible with your schedule). Draw, doodle, play the musical instrument you’ve been ignoring, whatever you do stick to the schedule for good time management. Steering away from the schedule during the break can upset the schedule and throw all your planning into a spin.
From the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep at night, it’s a mad rush. Can’t think of anyone who’s got the time to take a moment and breathe. But that’s not life, it’s existing. To be able to enjoy life, one must have time. Being able to take a few breaks without throwing your life into chaos is very much possible with a little planning. The key to a better life is unlocking the secret of time management.
And now that you’ve your time sorted out,! relax and indulge in some festive shopping with Diwali around the corner. Great time for gifting your family and friends. if you do buy using the affiliate links, then I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Go ahead and indulge!