9 Essential Time Management Tips for Students
Whether you’re studying at school, college, university, or studying English abroad, learning how to manage your workload and prioritize your time is an important skill to have. Arranging when you'll complete all your tasks and responsibilities ahead of time will help you to find a balance between friends, school, and work, and will even reduce stress.
Want to improve your time management skills? Check out our tips for the best ways to manage your time.
1. Set priorities
The most important aspect of time management is learning how to prioritize your time in order to achieve your goals. Often, the most important tasks or assignments are those we want to do least, so try and get into a habit where you begin with the most essential tasks. Not all tasks are essential or as time sensitive as others, so get things done according to importance and deadline.
2. Make a schedule
Whether it's a calendar or a timetable, it’s good to allocate set periods of time for specific tasks and activities. Mark in fixed commitments such as classes, tutorials, and any type of employment, and then work out how much time you have left per day for assignments, revision, and non study activities such as exercise, socializing, or even relaxing. If certain assignments or subjects need more attention, allocate more time accordingly.
3. Make to-do lists
One of the best ways to monitor your time and workload is to make daily to-do lists. Put the most important things at the top, and tick things off as you go along. Not only will you be prioritizing your tasks, but it will also be more likely that you'll relieve your stress and make your tasks seem more manageable as you physically tick things off your list.
4. Outline your goals
Listing your goals and reminding yourself of the things that you want to achieve is a great way of motivating yourself to completing your tasks. Try and divide them into short term and long term goals, and see which tasks and responsibilities are inter-linked. As a result you’ll be able to distinguish more essential tasks to less important ones.
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5. Say no
An important aspect of learning how to manage your time is learning how to say no to unnecessary, or often tempting options. It’s okay to say no to people who are trying to add to your workload, and it’s equally okay to say no to a friend that wants to socialize. Find a time that works for you, or put it off until your workload has eased.
6. Find your productive time
Once you have determined what you have to do and how long you have to do it, it’s important to determine when your most productive periods of the day are. Are you a morning person? Set yourself an early alarm and crack on before others are awake. Or maybe you're a night owl. Set some time aside in the evening to tackle your to-do list. You’ll soon find you’ll be at your most efficient if you work when you’re at your best.
7. Enjoy a change of scenery
Figure out the best space for you to be productive. Sometimes working at home can lead to more distractions, like wanting to browse through your Facebook feed or check what's on TV during break time. Why not go out and find a nice cafe or bright outdoor space to reinvigorate your motivation and get your brain flowing? This way, you'll have ventured out of the house with a purpose and are more likely to get work done than to sit around and kill time.
8. Be realistic
It’s important to remember that things often take longer than expected, so budget some additional time every week for ad-hoc tasks, or tasks that took longer than you anticipated. Allow yourself some extra time, and don't beat yourself up if you don't manage to achieve everything you set out to. Reward yourself when you have done well, and adjust your schedule where necessary.
9. Don't let the little things add up
Instead of waiting for big chunks of time to complete tasks, find ways where you can fit them into your daily routine and schedule. Got an email you need to send? Draft it while you’re on the train to work. Have you notes you need to go over? Record them on your phone and listen to them while you’re getting ready for college. Small things can be achieved in-between the spaces of other commitments, so evaluate where you can be making better use of your time.
Now that you’ve learned how to manage your time, why not check out our revision tips to really boost your learning experience.