Time is the only thing everyone is missing at the end of the day. The clock resets every 24h giving us a fresh day to work with, but it’s up to us to decide how we use that time. There’s 8760 hours in a year, which seems like a lot. Every hour has 60 minutes, so there’s nothing to worry about, right? Ask yourself how long you’ve been in education now. Elementary school, high school, college … each year has 8760 hours, so multiply it by the number of years. That’s how much has passed so far. What are you going to do about it?
Managing the Sands of Time
Truth be told, time is a commodity, and if you want to use it to do the best you can as a student, you’re going to need some time management skills. It takes time and practices as all things do, but time management also takes self-discipline. Don’t play that video game or watch that movie or go out on Friday night. It’s hard, isn’t it? It’s not meant to be easy, it’s meant to be worth it in the end. We will look over some of the things you can do to get started on developing your own schedule and use your time to excel in all the subjects in school or college. These apply for whatever you’re doing; whether it’s studying for a math quiz or working on a thesis; it’s just a matter of having an open mind.
Make a To-Do List
This one is straight-forward. Get a notebook (or a schedule app) and break down each day of the week. What are the things you absolutely have to do? Write them all down. Fill out the blanks in between with studying or working on projects. Be sure to have some breaks and free time so that you won’t go coo-coo. Add a little reward for each day you manage to complete according to the plan.
Keep Your Work Close
Whether it’s studying or writing an essay, try carrying it in your bag whenever you go out. You will feel relaxed knowing your work is just a hand’s reach away, and not miles away from you. Thus, you can always get something done when there is a free minute.
Learn to Say “No”
This one might be tough at first but it gets easier every time. Your friends are going out and asking you to come with? If you have work or studying, just say “No”. If they care, they will understand. After all, a night of partying is not worth the regret of getting a bad mark in school as a result.
Find Your Productive Time
You will soon find out if you’re a morning or a night person. Studying at some point during the day will feel just right. This is your zone, your time to shine and be productive. Don’t be afraid to plan your day according to your own preferences.
Create a Dedicated Timeframe
Plan a few hours in a day in which you’ll do nothing but study, write or work. Don’t check e-mails, your phone, the mail box outside, nothing. Just you and your work. Set an alarm if you want to be extra organized on top of that.
Budget Your Time
Give it a few weeks for your plan to develop. You will soon discover how much time it takes for you to study or get something done. You don’t have to plan three hours for something that takes just one. Use the extra time to relax or do something else as well. Your schedule will evolve on its own.
Don’t Lose Focus
This one is fun. You will find yourself losing focus, procrastinating or doing something completely at random. This is when you stop and breathe. Take a look at your schedule and get back on track. Take some time to relax if you need to. The name of the game is “time management” not “losing your mind”.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A favorite among students that somehow always ends up overlooked. You need good eight hours of sleep at night, without exceptions. You need energy to do everything you listed on that busy schedule you have; what’s the point if you fall asleep half-way through the day?
Patience Is a Virtue
Whenever you do end up making a to-do list and start using it, it will take time for you to realize that it’s actually working. Be patient, and above all, remember why you made the list in the first place. Getting that first high mark in school or college and being commended for your organizational skills will be the first indication that you’re doing well, and that your time is not being wasted any more.
About the Author
Lily Wilson is a 34 year-old homestay freelance academic writer. Lily runs her personal blog AnAwfulLotofWriting and works as a contributing academic writer at ThePensters.com.