Every Minute Counts: The Ultimate Guide To Time Management For Students

Time management is an extremely important skill that everyone of all walk of life have to master. It is particularly important for students. During examinations, it is a life-saving skill indeed. A lack of time management leads to a lack of productivity and that just leaves a lot of time to be wasted. And we certainly do not want that!

Tuition teachers emphasise the importance of time-management in daily activities as well as in examinations. It is skill that tutors choose to equip their students with.

Today, online learning, or what is known as ‘home-based learning” is becoming the norm and there is a lot of time available. This is predominantly because of not having to spend time on commuting or getting ready to go to school. Everything has to be done from home and this means students need to be able to set their own schedule and stick with that timetable with discipline in order to be productive.

The one thing in this universe that cannot be gained when lost is time. So, in our short time in this world, we need to learn how to make every minute count.

So, here are some excellent tips for you to follow to master time management!

MAKE A TO-DO LIST

Some might claim that making a list is a waste of time. Others might complain that they spend an excessive amount of time making a list but never end up sticking to it. The whole idea behind making a list it to make your life a lot easier by organising your tasks. Not all tasks have the same gravity to it. Meaning, some tasks might have a shorter deadline, some may require more time and effort to complete and some may be just be effortlessly ticked off the list.

to do list
Source: forbes.com

By writing down everything that you need to do, you can sort out your mind, and it gives you more clarity. Sometimes the tasks may seem huge and exhaustive but when writing them down, they may simple after all.

Here’s an example of how you can write down your tasks.

  1. 30-minute exercise routine
  2. Complete biology practice paper (3 hours) -timed practice
  3. Practice writing economics essay (1 hour) -timed practice
  4. Send urgent emails (45 minutes)
  5. Attend conference call for project work (2 hours)
  6. Revise chapter 1-3 for Chemistry exam (1.5hours)

Like the list shown above, indicate the possible amount of time it might take for each task and try as much as possible to stick to that limit. You can set yourself a stopwatch timer to track your progress. It will be helpful to follow the Pomodoro technique to maximise your productivity.

PARKINSON’S LAW

parkinson's law
Source: lifehack.org

The definition of this verbatim is, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”We often do not realise that we are our biggest barrier to success and productivity. When a task can be done if we put in more effort and remain focused, we sometimes choose to lay back and procrastinate. When the deadline approaches, that work then gets completed in such a short period of time, with a possible compromise on its quality at times.

In order to avoid such undue stress and problems, it will be a healthy habit for students to cultivate to keep in mind that every task, no matter how big or small should be given 100% attention.

SWEEP AWAY YOUR DISTRACTIONS!

You need to be self-aware enough to understand your major distractions. The distraction may be your favourite books, your favourite food and snacks, your mobile phone, or favourite video game, your siblings or whatsoever. Being completely aware of your distractions and knowing what causes your lack of productivity is half the battle won. The other half of the battle is to actually get rid of these distractions. This is the best way to create a conducive study environment for yourself.

Take active steps to set aside those distractions. If it’s the notifications on your phones, put it on silent and give it to someone else in the house and tell them not to give back your phone until you are done with the task. If it is your favourite food in the pantry that distracts you, tell yourself that it will be your rewards after you complete a task.

You need to be proactive enough to seek ways to overcome these distractions. It boils down to self-discipline at the end of the day.

DURING EXAMINATIONS

The biggest enemy for students during exam is time. Students end up performing much lesser than what they are capable of, just because they fail to manage their time. The biggest mistakes made by students during examinations are,

  • Overthinking an answer that has been written for a question
  • Spending too much time dissecting a question
  • Stagnating at a question for a long time instead of moving on to easier ones
  • Failure to plan out the timing such that there is at least 10 minutes to check through the entire paper

When you do not know how to answer a question, it is important to first calm down and not panic, flag that question and move on immediately. In those last 10-15 minutes, you can come back to such questions that you have flagged out. You might have more clarity and may be able to recall the answer when you come back to those questions later on.

Being exam-smart plays an integral role in excelling in examinations!