Study time & Schedules
Time management skills can be developed and improved with practice. Start with understanding how you use time. Next, execute your plan and do regular reviews to ensure you are on track and always stay well prepared. Listing below strategies that will help organising & prioritising time for everything that is important for you. Following these simple strategies will help you in succeeding at your studies while reserving time for other activities with friends, family etc.
Strategies on using time:
- Blocks of study time and breaks
Plan blocks of study time for a week. Plan study time when you know you are most productive. Ideally a block could be around 50 minutes. After which take a break. Use a break to relax, have a snack, or otherwise refresh & re-energise yourself. Difficult topics may require more frequent breaks. Shorten your study blocks if necessary – but do not forget to return to the task at hand!
- Dedicated study spaces
It’s a good idea to have a dedicated place to study. A space free from distractions (no cell phone or text messaging!) where you can concentrate well. A place where you will consciously not do anything other than study. Let others know about it, so they will not disturb you. It’s a good idea to move your table away from a wall so you aren’t facing a wall while studying.
- Weekly reviews
Weekly reviews and updating your schedule is an important strategy. Each week, review your assignments, notes, calendar. Select a suitable time for example Sunday night, for this and stay with it. Be mindful of deadlines and exams, tweak your weekly routine to adapt to them!
- Prioritise your assignments
When studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task. Work at it while you are fresh and have more energy and when you are at your best. When working on more difficult courses of study, try and be flexible. Build in a buffer or reaction time, especially when you need to get feedback on assignments to correct and improve your assignment, before they are due.
- Achieve “stage one” – get something done!
Most important, Start! You will understand the complete details and requirements of an assignment only after you begin. Tweak your schedule to make time for things you may not have planned for. “Perfection is the enemy of good”, especially when it prevents you from starting! Roughly draft your idea and get going. Edit and develop later.
- Postpone unnecessary activities until the work is done!
Postpone tasks that can be put off until you complete your study or assigned work. Identify time wasters. This is possibly the most difficult challenge of time management. There are always unexpected opportunities that look appealing that will lead to our wasting time. Distracting activities will be more enjoyable later without the pressure of the test or assignment hanging over your head. Think in terms of pride of accomplishment. Instead of saying “no” learn to say “later”.
End of Part 1