Time management is a key to academic success. Do you wait until the last minute to do everything? Then you sure need to apply the time management skill. To achieve academic success, you must manage your time on a daily, weekly and semester or term basis. Many students are always unable to do things at the right time and this eventually leads to stress and frustration. When you are able to manage your time, you will become more organized, more confident and learn more effectively.
The following keys could be applied to manage your time effectively:
ORGANIZE YOURSELF BY DRAWING UP A PLAN
An organized student is a successful student. To manage your time in the university, you need to draw up a plan which should include your daily, weekly and semester task. Your daily plan can hold a day-to-day account of assignments and areas of study. Your weekly plan can be used to give you an overall plan for the week, a list of approaching tests and tasks to be achieved over the week. Your semester or term calendar gives you a broad view of what you will do for that semester and helps you plan ahead. Drawing up a plan will help you keep track of everything you need to do, whether it is writing a term paper, having a group meeting, attending classes etc. You can also include time for extracurricular activities such as sports and outing with friends.
Setting Priorities has to do with rating tasks according to their importance. Setting priorities for each day, week, month and year can go a long way in helping you to accomplish your goals. Start by completing the most important tasks first. If you have an assignment that is due next week and another assignment that is due in two weeks time, you have to start with the one that is due next week. While prioritizing, do not neglect other responsibilities.
Define both your long and short term goals. You can start by writing down your courses and the grades you want to have. If you want to have an A in at least 3 courses, you know you need to work towards it. If you want to have a job in a top institution after graduation, it means you have to graduate with distinction and you need to start early to work towards it. Make sure you set goals for each study session like how many chapters you want to study or how many questions you want to solve. But try not to overwhelm yourself with too much work. Always set realistic goals so you don’t over-stress yourself.
Be disciplined about what you want to achieve by eliminating distractions. Log out of social media accounts and switch off your cell phone or keep it away from you. A very productive way to start your day is to spend the first hour of it phone free, just doing the tasks you want to get done, uninterrupted and entirely focused.
START WORKING ON ASSIGNMENT EARLY
Good time management means not leaving assignments until the day they are due. Always review upcoming assignments and tests, start working on them early so you will not be stressed and hurrying to meet due dates, besides, doing your assignments in a hurry might lead to mistakes and failures.
DO NOT MULTITASK
It has been found out that multitasking significantly lowers performance compared to completing one item at a time. If you multitask, you might end up wasting time recalling rules, details, and steps needed to complete each task. Always start from the difficult task to the easiest.
TAKE BREAKS WISELY
For you to be productive and for your reading not to be in vain, observe a break after every 40 to 50 minutes or less especially when you begin to experience mental fatigue. Brief diversions from a task, it is said can significantly improve your ability to focus for extended periods. Breaks keeps one refreshed, energized and ready to continue.
IDENTIFY TIME WASTERS
Identifying time wasters would enable you to avoid them. Time wasters might be wrong friends or activities. Chatting with friends for hours could be a time waster and this means you have to schedule your study time in the library or a secret place you go to read without being distracted. Some students are fond of disappearing for hours and appearing later for chat. Their disappearing period is used for reading; this is because they don’t want to jeopardize their study time. Try to avoid time wasters.
MAKE TIME TO REFLECT ON A WEEKLY BASIS
Once a week probably by weekends, take some minutes to think about the week gone by. Think about what went well and what did not go so well. Reflect on your scores on previous assignments and tests and know where you are to put in more efforts in the next one. Decide what changes you will make in the coming week and write them down in order to put them into action.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP EVERY NIGHT
Lack of sleep affects your concentration, memory, mood and overall health. In order not to break down and to be productive, get enough sleep and exercise. This is highly recommended by medical professionals.
NEVER SKIP CLASSES AND GO TO CLASS PREPARED
No matter how boring the class is, don’t skip it. Skipping classes will make you spend more time in the long run catching up. In skipping classes, you might miss out on some explanations that might not be there in the handout and which might help you in exams. Always attend classes prepared. Preparing for classes is not just about packing the necessary handouts and every other thing needed; it is about skimming through the notes from the previous class. You gain more from what is taught when you do this and when you master it, you find out you are top of the class because you always revise.