The most valuable currency of all is time, and students need to be able to manage their time well, not only to juggle all their responsibilities but also to maintain some school-life balance, and eventually prepare them for work in the real world. This is challenging, especially now that online schooling has become the norm, and there are distractions everywhere. Plus, having good project management skills will prove to be beneficial in the long run, especially at work.
Life, after all, is a balancing act, and you need to be able to manage your time well to accomplish all-important tasks, and still be able to have time for personal things. With that said, here are some time management tips every student should know:
Plan out each day.
Time management starts with good planning. Before you get started, you need to plan ahead and make a feasible schedule. You should have a list of your project or tasks along with their pertinent details. Make sure you write this down by hand, on your smartphone, mobile device, or computer so you won’t forget anything. Use the tools you have to come up with strategies for effective project management. This will help you prioritize urgent tasks first, and keep you in check along the way. Even though things change and you have to be flexible, planning for all the projects you have to accomplish will give you some sense of structure. It would be best if you plan a day before so you don’t scramble on the day itself.
Aside from having a daily plan or schedule, you should have a more general structure for weekly and monthly tasks and deadlines. This way, you can rearrange your plans with ease if needed, and you can gauge if you can commit to other tasks or projects as well. It will also help you schedule your rest days as well. Setting aside hours for yourself to do what you want is important to keep yourself happy and motivated.
While it’s a must for you to have some sort of game plan, you shouldn’t let your to-do list ruin your rhythm or workflow. That means you shouldn’t really plan everything to the minute. You have to be able to adapt to whatever unexpected challenge comes your way and learn how to adapt in the process. Think of it as a guide, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t do everything to the letter. Time management is a learning process, and you will get better at it every day.
If you’re juggling five to ten things at once, chances are that you’ll get overwhelmed, and you won’t be able to execute things well. That is why you should focus on one thing at a time. Even if you have several subjects and multiple assignments, you should break them down and make time for each of them individually. You will be able to complete things by staying focused. Finish one task before you start another. After all, the human brain can’t do more than one thing at a time. Don’t overwork or subject yourself to unnecessary stress. It would be more effective if you pour your energy into the specific task at hand, and do your best. Focus on the bigger picture, and bear in mind your goals.
One disadvantage of online learning is that you don’t have a teacher keeping you in check in a classroom, so it would be better if you keep yourself in line by setting measurable and realistic goals. Give yourself a deadline for each task so you can gauge how much time you have to allocate for everything. If there’s a time restraint, chances are that you’ll stay focused to beat the clock. Having concrete goals will keep you motivated even if you’re working alone. If you don’t set a deadline, you might take up too much time, and not be able to finish all your tasks in the end.
Even though you set deadlines for yourself, you should focus on the results, and ultimately, the bigger picture. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you go overboard with the amount of time you spend on a single task. You’re only human after all, and people make mistakes. What’s important is that you finish all that you have to do, learn along the way, and do things to the best of your abilities.
Start your day by reminding yourself that you can do everything you have to do. Having an optimistic or ‘can do’ attitude will boost your confidence in order to complete all the things you have to get done. It will also motivate you to conquer all the challenges you will eventually face not only as a student but in real life. Mistakes are inevitable, and things might get overwhelming at times. Take it easy on yourself, and just give every project your 100%. You will get things done as long as you work hard to achieve your goals. Always remember that whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. If you believe in others, make sure you believe in yourself too.
Take a break.
All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Even if you have a lot of projects or tasks to finish, you need to allow some time for short breaks for your mental health. Set aside 5 minutes to meditate or have a quick snack. Have a cup of tea or coffee. If you need it, you can even take a quick power nap. If you want to, go out and take a stroll to clear your mind. Find time to do things that will help you cope with all the challenges thrown your way. In order to stay focused, you need to be on your A-game, and taking breaks from time to time will help you better manage everything. You need to make time for what will keep you motivated and happy. It will also help you stay focused when it’s time to work once again.
Now that online learning has become the norm, there are far more distractions that may catch your attention, and prevent you from finishing or even starting on your projects. This can come in the form of social media, entertainment websites, sports, television, other people, and the like. While it may not be possible for you to eliminate them completely, you can opt to mute your social media notifications or keep your phone silent. There are also mobile applications that can help you limit your screen time.
If you study in an area that is in close proximity to the television, put on your earphones and play some music that may help you focus on your work. You can also lower the volume so you won’t be tempted to set aside your project, and just watch a movie. Do what you have to do to get things done.
Use time management tools.
You can boost your productivity levels by enlisting the assistance of tools online. A great example of this is Asian Efficiency, one of the leading productivity training companies that can help you have an effective time management system. Asian Efficiency can help you save time, be happier, and become more productive. They can help you come up with strategies to manage your daily productivity levels. The best time to invest in yourself is now.
Having good time management skills is important not only to become a good student but will also give you some balance in life. Mistakes are inevitable, but it’s important that you try to learn from them, and take it easy on yourself as you’re doing the best you can. It will take some time to have effective time management skills, so relax, and keep in mind that the next day is a different day. Always remember that you determine what’s important to you by what you spend your time on, so use it well.
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