Time Management Tools: 5 Tips To Manage Your Study Time Better

By Lachlan Haynes

If you struggle to manage your time then you have come to the right place. One of the most difficult things to control and use effectively is your time - because it just keeps ticking away no matter how quickly you work or how much you want it to slow down.

But there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you use your time effectively - and actually save yourself some time in the process. And creating more free time to use as you please is by far the best part of managing your time well.

Tip number one - create and use to-do lists. It might sound obvious, but the first step in getting things done is actually creating a list of the things you want done! How often do you try to avoid writing lists and instead just try to remember the stuff you have to get done off the top of your head? Some people are perennial list makers. But some people never make them at all. If you want to use your time wisely you need to use lists. So use numbers or letters to distinguish between your top priorities and your low priorities (for example number from 1-10 or letter from A-J) and make sure you are very specific in each to-do item (vague to-do items only lead to more procrastination and more time management challenges!)

Tip number two - create some goals. It's very easy to overlook creating goals and instead just get started on things. But working towards something specific helps create a direction for you. For example, if you make a goal that you will have your "Science homework completed no later than 8 pm tonight" then you have something specific you are working towards. If you have no goal in mind then you might end up drifting along until 9 pm without even completing the Science homework at all. So start listing all the things you want to achieve and when you want to achieve them by. This will help you easily see which activities are a total waste of your time and which are going to help you reach your ambitions.

Tip number three - tackle procrastination head on. When we look at things we need to complete we have a tendency to look at them as one big ugly task. Instead of doing this, you need to break any big task down into much smaller pieces. For example, in order to write a 2000 word essay you first need to write one word, then one sentence, then one paragraph, then one page, and then 1000 words. By then you are half way done! By it's the breaking it down and getting started that makes the most difference. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and concerned and do nothing. But the smart thing to do is break the task right down and get started on something small. Once you actually start you will realize the task is easier than you thought.

Tip number four - take regular breaks. It seems to make sense that if you work for 5 hours straight you will get 5 hours of work done. But the problem is that after an hour or so your brain will have turned to mush and a quick freshen up is required. So after 5 hours of non-stop study you will probably be in a catatonic state where you thinking running around your house peeing on "your territory" sounds like a good idea. Instead of that, a ten minute break every hour will really help your batteries to recharge and your mind to rejuvenate itself. Go for a walk, have a chat to someone, listen to some music or grab a cup of java, but whatever you do, stay away from the cat bowl!

Tip number five - schedule your work for when you are in your study Zen state. We all have different time clocks inside us that dictate when we have the most energy. Yours may be in the morning or it may be late at night. Whatever it is, schedule your work around this time. There is no point trying to push a horse up a hill - so just study at the times you feel super switched on and you will find it far easier to get the work done.

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