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Many people have a lot of demands on their time. There are only so many hours in a day, which means that the sooner a person can develop strategies for managing his or her time efficiently and effectively, the more successful that person can be.
It can be especially important for students to explore ways to improve their time management skills early in their academic careers. Time management involves planning, and that includes allotting time for specific tasks.
The following strategies can be useful for anyone looking to manage their time more effectively.
Establish a Daily Schedule
Staying the course may require a guideline detailing how you will spend your time. A good part of the day may be taken up by classes and assignments, but focusing on the other parts of the day also is key. Set up a plan for how you will treat each day. Block off specific times for exercise, meals, school, study, and any other responsibilities you have. Time blocking is a format by which you go through the moments of the day. You can block out by the hour or any amount of time you need.
Figure Out Where You’re Losing Time
You need to know how you’re currently spending your time before you can improve on time management strategies. Spend a few days jotting down a time log. This will help you determine if you’re working efficiently or where you are losing time.
Make Time for Breaks
Burnout can occur when you work yourself too hard. That makes breaks an important part of time management. Breaks allow for time to call loved ones, text with friends, meditate, or engage in other activities unrelated to school. According to sleep researcher Nathaniel Kleitman, people’s minds naturally crave breaks after 90 minutes of intense work. You may need breaks at different intervals. Learn to read your body’s cues.
Break Projects Down
Many students avoid projects they feel are huge tasks. Breaking down the larger job into smaller ones can help students stay focused and reward progress. For example, if you need to write a 50-page research paper, make the first task finding source material, the next citing quotes and studies, and then resolve to write a set number of pages per day.
Schedule Classes Wisely
Some people are night owls while others thrive in the morning. Set up schedules so you’re in class when you are at your most productive; otherwise, you could lag and waste time. This may not be possible for high school students, but colleges allow for more flexibility in scheduling.
Time management is an important skill for students to develop. It will help in the classroom and later on when entering the workforce.