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Five essential time management tips for students

  • As a university or college student, time management is one of the most critical tools for academic success. You may be studying and working, or even have a family that looks up to you for their needs - how do you strike a balance between work and school without jeopardizing your relationship with your family and social circle? Being able to allocate time to every important event in your life so that one area does not impact others negatively is the hallmark of a successful student. And lack of that is considered to be one of the major factors that stands between a student and academic success.

    The effects of time management practices on college grades have been studied by two scholars, Bruce K. Britton and Abraham Tesser, at the Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia, their main hypothesis was to test the predictability of college grade point by time management practices. In 1983, they tested 90 students on different aspects of time management and obtained their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores, four years later, when they conducted a similar research procedure, they found out, using regression analysis, that in particular two practices of time management significantly influence academic achievement.

    Therefore, if you are trying to get better at managing your time and ultimately in your academic accomplishment, here are five top time management tips for students.

    Set your priorities

    The first and most important aspect of managing your time as a student is to become adept at prioritizing to boost your chances of success. In fact, this skill is as important to academics as other areas of your life, and people who can do the right things at the right time are high achievers in every sphere of human endeavor.

    Often, students love to postpone the most important tasks for the last, especially when dealing with complicated subjects such as mathematics and science subjects. But this is usually a mistake, as you need to spend more time on problematic subjects. One way to increase your learning is to start with the most important subjects or tasks. Rank your tasks in order of importance and get into the habit of tackling them according to their importance and available time. If you are a math wizard but suck at grammar, don’t devote all your time to math because of your love for the subject. Spend more of your time in trying to understand the knotty issues, and then you can blaze through the easy parts afterwards.

    Make to-do lists

    To-do lists are effective tools used by college students and workers to increase their productivity. A to-do list helps you keep track of the tasks you need to accomplish within a period. When designing a to-do list, be sure to place the essential tasks at the top of the list, and then check each task off upon completion. To-do lists make prioritizing easier, makes time allocation more efficient, and helps you get more done out of your day. With a well-organized to-do list and discipline, you can significantly increase your productivity as a student, breadwinner, or employee. This is also one of the best time management tips for workers.

    Schedule your tasks

    Have you heard of Parkinson's Law? To paraphrase the law, it says work expands to occupy available time. If you have a whole day to accomplish a task that should take two hours, the chances are that the task will take you more than ten hours.

    No matter how much time you have, you won’t achieve much if you don’t schedule your time efficiently. Time management tools such as a timetable can help you allocate time to specific activities or tasks on your to-do lists. Start by working at a rough estimate of each task or activity at the beginning of the semester. Set out time for classes, tutorials, work, and then distribute the remaining time for assignments, revision, family, sports, exercise, relaxation and socializing, and others. As a college student, you need more tips and tricks to own your academic successes.

    As you go along, you can always adjust your timetable to reflect new realities. You can also use your smartphone calendar as well as a diverse array of mobile apps to schedule your tasks. Also, don’t forget that your body and mind need sleep to perform optimally. Be sure to get at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night to keep your body rejuvenated and mind clear and sharp for the activities of the next day. Whatever you do, be sure to be the master of your time. It’s the meter of your life.

    Discover your most productive time

    Once you are clear about what to do and how much time you have to spend to accomplish each task, one of the most excellent time management tips for college students is to identify the time of the day which you are most productive.

    What time do you assimilate the most? Are you a nightcrawler? Or do you cover more ground when you study in the morning? Schedule your most important tasks for the time of the day when you are most productive, and your success rate will increase dramatically. Trying to find your peak time is an important step towards becoming an active learner and will also increase your productivity in every area of your life.

    If you are a morning person, you can use an alarm to rouse yourself early if you find it difficult to get out of bed.

    Kill procrastination and distraction

    Procrastination has been called the thief of life, and it lives up to its horrible reputation. Distraction is the biggest time waster after procrastination and can turn a high flying student to a non-achiever. What habits or activities are eating up your time? What kind of environment brings out the best in you?

    Eminent studies have shown that it’s hard to be a student in the Internet age, as several sources of distraction surround you. From social media, video gaming friends, Netflix, viral YouTube videos and others, students are constantly being bombarded with audiovisual stimuli which may be fun to watch and listen to but can be the worst thief of your time.

    Once you can identify your most productive time, make conscious efforts to get rid of sources of distraction in your study area. It may be your smartphone, TV, or friends, but make sure nothing steals from that quality time you want to spend with yourself.

    People have become so addicted to their mobiles devices telling them to part with it for some hours can feel like the end of the world, but the world won’t come crashing down if you leave your phone in the locker for two hours of study. Try it, and you would be glad you did. In fact, even if you have to get stuck to your digital devices sometimes, there are great ways they can help you remain focused and productive.

    Whether you are in college or the university, time management is a vital skill you need to become a top performer in life. Not only will you achieve more in academics but practicing time management will also free up more time for other essential activities in your life. You will have more time for work, family, studies, and most importantly, spend the bulk of your time on the most important things of life.

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