Just a week before the exams, the anxiety and fear that would strike me is something that I can never forget. I am sure that if you are reading this, you can understand. At that moment, I usually regretted not starting early and paying full attention to the class. The question I dreaded the most, though, was How to manage time for study?
If you google Time Management for Students, you will find a lot of strategies and tips that will help you in the longer run. This article is not about such approaches. This article is all about time management in crisis.
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.Douglas Adams
In this blog, we will discuss the following in detail:
- the strategies of time management
- importance of time management for students
- time management skills that are a must for every student when they really don’t have time.
What you will get out of this article is not only how to manage time effectively as a student, but also the skill to handle the pressure.
What is the importance of time management for students?
When you are in a crisis situation, every second is essential. The position you are stuck in can vary for every student. It can be assignment submissions, exams, or project deadlines. Time Management is what can get you through that situation successfully.
I can warrant this because I am a regular procrastinator and have been in such situations countless times. What you need is to be smart and brave to take control and sail through such cases instead of giving up.
Whatever your deadline may be, Time management can help you plan, sort your priorities, and give your best performance.
10 Tips to Improve Time Management for Students
Here are the top 10 quick and useful tips that will improve Time Management for Students in a Crisis situation:
Tip 1: Take Control of the Situation
Most students lose control and fall in the whirlpool of panic and anxiety in a difficult situation. Instead of giving up, you need to set your eyes on the task at hand and take control to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.
Taking control will help you plan ahead and possibly get out of the situation.
Tip 2: Write down your goal and your deadline
Once you have decided that you don’t want to give up, it’s time to set your goal and deadline.
Write your goal in detail and keep it feasible. Not everyone can start studying at the last moment and top the class. Aim high, but still, keep it reasonable and possible to achieve in your deadline. For example, if you have an exam in 2 days and you haven’t started at all, keep your goal to successfully answer at least 60% of your test.
Tip 3: Break down your goal into subgoals and list steps to achieve each of them
Now that you have your Goal and Deadline, it’s essential to plan a blueprint on how you will meet your goal. Looking at a big goal and a short deadline can be overwhelming. So, it’s best to break down your goal into smaller and feasible subgoals.
Also, list down the steps you need to perform to achieve each of your sub-goals. That way, you are clear on what you want and how you are going to accomplish it.
Tip 4: Reward yourself on every goal completion
While planning sub-goals, you also decide on how you can reward yourself for completing each sub-goal.
Incentivizing tasks will not only keep you motivated but also reduce the stress and make this entire process more fun.
Your awards can be anything small. For example, watching a funny youtube video of 5-10 minutes, or watching a part of your favorite series or movie for 10 minutes, or eating chocolate, or playing your favorite mobile game for 10 minutes, etc.
Tip 5: Cut down on all unimportant activities
You need to make time for necessary actions. To do that, you need to cut down your time on all the irrelevant activities. If you usually cook food yourself, order from a restaurant. Avoid going to the laundry. Use disposable dishes to avoid spending time on cleaning.
In a Crisis situation, time is crucial, and you cannot afford to lose even a second.
Tip 6: Delegate tasks to someone else if possible
We all want to be perfectionists and do everything by ourselves, but drastic moments require drastic steps. When you have less time and more work, delegation is the only way to go.
Take help from whoever you can, and whatever tasks can be done by someone else, must be delegated. For example, when you are studying for an annual exam, ask your sibling or friend or parent to go through all the previous tests and list down the most repeated questions.
Tip 7: Practice Concentration exercises to stay focused
Losing focus while studying is disastrous when you don’t have time. You would have to learn the entire thing again and waste more time on a single topic.
It’s best to learn and practice some concentration exercises that will help you stay focused. To know more about such concentration exercises, read our article here – 10 Tips on How to improve concentration.
Tip 8: Take Action
A lot of times, you can get too excited and spend too much time planning what to do, instead of taking action and doing things.
Do not fall into this trap.
Taking action is critical and will help you achieve your goal in the given deadline.
Tip 9: Take short breaks
Avoid burnout at all costs. You need to stay motivated throughout, and burnout will only pull you down. Instead, take short breaks every once in a while. It will also help you stay fresh and focused.
Tip 10: Get some Sleep
No matter how urgent your task is, never skip on sleep. You will end up exhausted and won’t be able to focus at all.
Get at least 4-5 hours of sleep. It will not only keep you fresh but improve your concentration power and memory retention.
Few Essential Time Management Skills for Students
Short deadlines and Last Minute Studying are part of every student’s life. You experience them in at least some, if not all, phases of your education.
Learning a few Time Management Skills can help you throughout your journey as a learner.
Here is my list of skills that are an absolute must for saving time:
- Speed Reading. Speed reading is a time saver skill that will save you in your crisis. You can parse through and learn a lot in a short span if you can effectively speed read. Speed Reading by Justin Hammond is a good place to start learning this skill.
- Creating Acronyms. Creating acronyms is one of my favorite memory techniques. Listing important points and creating an acronym from them is a beneficial technique to remember long answers.
- Strategic Thinking. Strategic thinking will help you plan your time optimally and prioritize your tasks. A 2019 research on time management for college students found that strategic thinking is crucial and directly linked to student’s academic performance.
- Delegating Tasks. Delegation is an essential time management skill. By transferring your tasks, you create time for yourself to focus and achieve your goals.
- Stress Management. One of the most neglected skills, stress management can help you concentrate more on your tasks and allows you to complete more work in less time.
Things to Avoid while managing time during a crisis
While you now know what to do to manage your time effectively, it’s critical to understand what things you should not do.
Below are a few essential things you should avoid while managing time when you are on a deadline:
- Panic. Panic and anxiety will lower your confidence and kill your resolve to complete your task. Avoid panic at all costs, and take control of the situation.
- Too much Planning. Students often fall into the trap of spending a lot of time planning, but not taking action. Planning without execution will take you nowhere, so keep your plan simple and start taking action.
- Distractions. Focus is the key to Time Management. Avoid Distractions to concentrate more, and you will be able to finish your tasks on time.
- Eating unhealthy food. Eating an unhealthy diet can make you feel bloated, restless, and can sometimes make you sick.
- Too many breaks. Taking too many interruptions can cause you to lose focus and break your flow.
- Skipping Sleep. Sleep is one of the most critical activities that help you concentrate. Skipping sleep can cause exhaustion and can affect your performance considerably.
No matter what situation you are stuck in, there is always a way out. All required is that you don’t lose focus and use the time management tips that I have shared with you.
Time management is all about Setting Goals and Deadlines realistically and creating a plan to achieve your goal. There are a few do’s and don’ts, but as long as you can prioritize your tasks and you are focused on the task at hand, you should be able to sail through smoothly.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.Zig Zagler