If you’re reading this it’s quite likely that time management is not your strong suit. You probably feel over-worked, over-tired and over it all!
But giving up is not the solution. Instead, let’s look at some easy to implement strategies and time management tools that will help you make the most of the time you already have available and also create some more free time for you.
Tip number one – create and use to-do lists. It might sound obvious, but the first step in getting things done is actually creating a list of the things you want done! How often do you try to avoid writing lists and instead just try to remember the stuff you have to get done off the top of your head? Some people are perennial list makers. But some people never make them at all. If you want to use your time wisely you need to use lists. So use numbers or letters to distinguish between your top priorities and your low priorities (for example number from 1-10 or letter from A-J) and make sure you are very specific in each to-do item (vague to-do items only lead to more procrastination and more time management challenges!)
Tip number two – actually prioritize your tasks. Going to back to tip one, you should understand which tasks always come first and which tasks can always be put off. Think of them in terms of air, water and food. You can last seconds without air, days without water and weeks without food. So how quickly will you die if you don’t do the task? That should help you clear up the priority level of the taskand also creep you out a bit.
Tip number three – lower your expectations. We all want to shoot for the stars – but don’t put unreasonable pressure on yourself for no good reason. If you’re taking too much on and it’s taking too long because your expectations are way too high (for example, if you believe that nothing less than an A+ average for all your subjects is the only acceptable standard) then as soon as you slip under that extremely high standard a major meltdown will occur. So be committed to your ambition but not attached to every single outcome. If you are, you will spend way too much time focusing on things that don’t always matter.
Tip number four – take regular breaks. It seems to make sense that if you work for 5 hours straight you will get 5 hours of work done. But the problem is that after an hour or so your brain will have turned to mush and a quick freshen up is required. So after 5 hours of non-stop study you will probably be in a catatonic state where you thinking running around your house peeing on “your territory” sounds like a good idea. Instead of that, a ten minute break every hour will really help your batteries to recharge and your mind to rejuvenate itself. Go for a walk, have a chat to someone, listen to some music or grab a cup of java, but whatever you do, stay away from the cat bowl!
Tip number five – overcome any tendency to procrastinate. We all do it. Something is due but we can’t be bothered so we do nothing. Life’s hard. We get it. Everything is hard. We get that too. But if you don’t do the work it will catch up with you. So just do it! Get off your butt and get to work. But don’t worry about completing the whole thing. If you have to write a paper just write one paragraph – or even one sentence. If you have to complete a worksheet of Maths homework just do the first question. Instead of getting overwhelmed and anxious about having to complete the whole task just make sure that you first get started. It’s easier to keep going once you actually start.
HelpMeToStudy.org is the leading online resource for learning new study skills, changing your study habits and finding the best studying tips available. We provide free access to the world’s best and most entertaining study resources and strategies that will help change the way you think about study – and even better – we show you how to study effectively: How To Study Effectively | Time Management Tools