Have you ever planned to read for an exam at night only to fall asleep and wake up two hours before the exam? Or maybe you snooze on reading a topic and found it on the test, but didn’t even look at it before entering the test room. A lot of this happens to us when we’re students, but I’ve learned that these experiences come as opportunities to plan or manage time better next time.
One common phrase says, “Time lost is never found,” and another says, “Time waits for no man.” This is absolutely true, and I’ve certainly lived to learn that there is always time for everything. Although it is all about what we choose to do at a particular time, which affects the results.
Effective time management plans
Throughout life, there will always be something that derails us, and this is very detrimental to our time and success. Time management is a very important aspect for an individual – be it a student or an entrepreneur.
Effective time management skills are crucial throughout the academic and career journey. In general, if we want to achieve bigger goals, we must be good at managing time.
However, it’s common to lose time, get caught up in traffic, or forget a task’s due date. In a modern world like today, simply using a wristwatch or calendar is no longer an effective way to manage time.
At this juncture, we would like to explore the most reliable time management tips for students that will ensure optimum efficiency and productivity, especially during the exam period.
7 practical time management tips for students
There are a range of time management tips that students can take advantage of to de-stress, balance class and life, or perhaps excel academically. But let’s have a look at the top 7 reliable time management tips for any student.
1. Create a to-do list
Creating a to-do list is one of the best techniques for effective time management. Some people also follow calendars or schedules to make sure they do each task in a timely manner. However, it is not just about creating a list of things to do in a day or a week but also categorizing them according to their importance.
Prioritizing tasks helps us not to waste time on unimportant tasks or spend a lot of time on tasks that require less time.
the Pareto principle is a simple and time-saving rule to follow. Developed by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian engineer and economist, the principle demonstrates a correlation between output and input. The Pareto principle states that 80% of outcomes are driven by 20% of inputs. In other words, 80% of goals will come from 20% of your efforts and actions. Focusing on a few things at once will provide you with efficiency.
When it comes to applying the Pareto principle, one has to list all the tasks, mark the 20%, eliminate the unproductive ones and then implement the 80/20 rule. In general, you should be clear about any task that you have to do in a day, week or month. You then have to identify the most important tasks (20%) that will achieve 80% (expected results).
Once you have graded all of your tasks, it is essential that you identify productive and unproductive tasks. You have to get rid of them or delegate them. Then implement the 80/20 rule by starting with the most important tasks. You can also reorganize tasks or refocus priorities as you complete the most important tasks for optimal efficiency.
2. Use time tracking tools
Most of us would agree that time management is essential, but there are many times we lose track of it. For example, you might plan to spend two hours on a task and finish completing it in four. Identifying the cause and eliminating distractions can help you manage your time better.
Thanks to technology, there are a host of time management tools besides your watch that can help you stay ahead of time. With these tools, students can create to-do lists and organize notes in one place for easy access. Some tools allow users to prioritize tasks according to due date or sync notes across all devices.
Using one reliable time management tool can help you manage time better, make better decisions, and become more organized and productive. If you are looking for time management tools, you can check out some of them, such as Trello, Evernote, Homework Student Planner, Focus Booster, etc.
3. Use the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a simple productivity trick that helps people work with the time they have. If you are not familiar with this time management technique, you may find it unrealistic or boring, but many people swear by it.
The Pomodoro System requires that you select the available time or tasks and divide them into 25-minute blocks with a 5-minute break in between. The intervals are referred to as Pomodoros, and after every four Pomodoros, one should take a longer break of 15 to 20 minutes.
Most people tend to feel like they have a whole day or a lot of time to complete a task, which adds to sluggishness and inefficiency. The Pomodoro technique comes to instill a sense of urgency as one is reminded to complete the task on time. It also helps a person pay attention to distractions and unnecessary activities such as phone use that can lead to poor time management.
This time management approach can help increase focus and productivity and also works effectively to reduce burnout. One could use a timer, but there are many Pomodoro apps, such as Pomodoro Timer Lite and Focus Keeper, to help track productivity, ensure breaks between tasks, and own your time.
4. Collaboration Tools
It is impossible to escape collaborative activities in today’s education system, especially in the corporate world. Collaboration is an effective way to consolidate knowledge, accomplish complex tasks effectively, or coordinate remotely. The COVID-19 outbreak has increased the demand for collaboration tools across sectors.
When it comes to the field of education, collaboration tools are seen as a dynamic learning style with the potential to increase engagement. Today, there are many collaboration tools that students can use to collaborate on projects or share notes at the right time.
Some of these tools include Edmondo, FlipGrid, School Frindzy, Google Docs/Google Drive, etc. These tools come with various functions that allow student-teacher collaboration, content creation, formative assessment, and feedback sharing.
5. Managing distractions
It is very easy to plan, but when we plan, it is also necessary to plan for the unexpected. Nothing affects academic results like distractions and unexpected assignments. So when we plan, we should always leave room for the unexpected. Distractions are everywhere, and they can happen whether you’re studying virtually or in a classroom.
So what do you do when you’re studying remotely, but there’s so much noise around you that it’s hard for you to focus? Try to find a safe and noise-free learning environment to help you focus on your studies. This could be a dedicated study space that is soundproofed and free of distractions like personal photos or TV screens. You can also find a noise-free area if you study inside the school premises.
Getting away from distractions will help you finish homework on time, and will help you escape stress and anxiety in class. It will also help you free up time to build your social life or develop your talent. You should know that distractions are everywhere, but managing them effectively is one of the best ways to keep track of time.
6. Be flexible
Being flexible is like having a growth mindset. Students with a good degree of resilience are not affected by sudden events or changes in systems. For example, the 2020 outbreak has forced students to embrace distance or hybrid learning cultures. Some inflexible students found it challenging for new learning paradigms.
Cognitive flexibility is vital for teachers and learners to move at the same pace. In general, cognitive flexibility allows students to adopt new instructional systems without hesitation, to embrace new experiences, and to deal with classroom anxiety. When it comes to professional life, cognitive flexibility allows us to deal with or manage people effectively.
Student life is all about flexibility because there are times when you have to read while surrounded by annoying people. Or find a convenient place to continue your reading instead of putting it off. We all know how boring studies can get, so you need to experiment with schedules to find the period when you are most effective in helping you manage your time appropriately.
7. Avoid procrastinating
We’ve all done it before, and we probably still do it. If you are not sure whether or not you are procrastinating, take a few minutes to evaluate yourself. Do you get assignments with a future deadline and put them off only to work on them the night before submitting them the next day? Do you sometimes find yourself racing against time to meet a deadline, but have a full week to do the job?
Procrastination is the tendency to delay or put off activities with the belief that there is still time to do them. Procrastination may not always be bad, but it increases inefficiency because there are more opportunities to work during peak hours. Letting go of procrastination can help improve yourself And the way you value time.
To summarize, poor time management affects punctuality and can lead to missed opportunities. Being sensitive to time during school life can contribute to one’s success in the professional field. We’ve taken the time here to explore the most reliable time management tips for students, and we believe they can make a huge difference in the way you manage your time.
Featured image rights: provided by the author; Thank you!