TIME MANAGEMENT: 26 tips to rediscover your mojo!
At this time of the Semester we’re often talking to students who need a little help getting their time management skills up to speed. Annette from Student Assist put together the following 26 Tips to get your time management mojo back …
1. Develop a weekly schedule for fixed commitments. Be sure to include times for lectures and classes, meals, compulsory sport and training, travel, and for sleep.
2. See if the remaining number of hours are sufficient for all your private study time. What distribution of private study time between evenings, weekend, and free time during day would you like? Remember, you will need some short blocks and some long blocks of time.
3. Look at your priorities, especially if you have difficulty fitting everything in to your schedule. Perhaps you need to consider cutting some things down and cutting other things out, at least temporarily.
4. Try to give adequate time to sleep every night. If sleep has to be reduced because you ‘do not have time’ to complete your work, you need to re-examine your lifestyle and your priorities.
5. Learn to say ‘no’ to some requests for your time when you know you can’t afford to give it.
6. Consider using the time between classes to help manage your time better. Many types of study fit into short blocks of 10-20 minutes (e.g. pre-reading for a lecture, reviewing notes, learning specific vocabulary, formulas, etc).
7. Concentration is often helped by changing the location of your study. This may help you be more effective in less time. Take note of environmental factors on your concentration requirements (e.g. amount of light, degree of warmth, amount of noise, amount of space, movement of people, etc). Experiment with studying both at home and in the library.
8. Some types of work are better accomplished working with and beside someone else rather than working in solitude. Note these differences and attempt to use them to your advantage. You may like to form a regular study group for each subject.
9. Attempt to determine when you are at your best during the day. It is wise to deal with more difficult and less interesting subjects at this time.
10. A well organized person plans ahead for the day, week and term. This will help reduce wasted time and a rush to make due dates. Indecision about what to do next is an energy user and tends to make initiating study difficult.
11. It may be worthwhile to acquire and use a study calendar. As soon as a paper or long-term project becomes know, record it and plan how much time you need to spend on it to achieve the results to which you aspire. Draw up a calendar of deadlines for each step. Most importantly, begin work early and don’t procrastinate. You will often need extra time to accommodate things that occur unexpectedly.
12. Be sure to keep a balance between work and leisure. To achieve this, plan to reserve special time for recreation and social activities.
13. You will feel better, look better, and work much more effectively if you exercise regularly. An ideal is to aim at 20-30 minutes of exercise per day. You might consider squash, jazz fitness, cycling, running, skipping as effective exercises which are very economical in time spent for benefits gained. Walking is good exercise too.
14. Try not to spend excessive time on low priority items. Put most of your time and energy toward items which have high value and payoff for you.
15. Be careful of not fooling yourself about how much you are achieving simply because you are able to make yourself busy. Work effectiveness should be measured by output rather than in time taken (or wasted).
16. You will find it easier to begin work, and to concentrate, if your study desk is clear. Try to work with only the materials that you need for one subject in front of you. Try to have an organized space for all other books and material and do your best to store them in that place when you are not actually working on them.
17. The emphasis in your work should be quality, not quantity. Try to experiment with study techniques which give better quality results.
18. Attempt to be flexible with your time rather than sticking rigidly to a schedule. However, this will need you to be honest with yourself so that, if you borrow free time, you should repay it later. Planning your study, say on a Sunday night, for the particular week ahead of you is a useful hint.
19. When you develop a work and relaxation schedule that works well for you, display it in a place where you will notice it and use it. It may help to carry a copy with you at the front of your folder or notebook.
20. Before you sit down to do some intensive study, decide what you want to accomplish during your study session, and set a finishing time. This will focus your attention and help you initiate your study. It will also give you a goal to achieve and provide you with the opportunity for gaining satisfaction from realizing your goals.
21. Be sure to build in breaks when you study intensively. Only you can decide how regularly to take breaks.
22. If you have to share study or work facilities with someone else, maybe you should discuss your respective needs, approaches, and aspirations openly and frankly with one another. In some areas you may have to agree on a compromise suitable to both parties.
23. If you feel tired when you are working, stop for a short while. If you are really fatigued, reschedule your time and get some rest.
24. Maintain sufficient flexibility in your schedule to accommodate an upcoming event or activity which you don’t want to miss.
25. Consult frequently with your lecturers to make sure your efforts and their expectations are similar. Should you anticipate or be experiencing difficulties, the sooner you seek help, the sooner you regain control over your own life again.
26. Don’t forget that the Counsellors are available to help you plan your time, if necessary. Ring Student Assist on 6773 2897 or call in to make an appointment (that includes off campus student phone consultations).
If you’ve got other suggestions, make sure you let us know via the comments section …