Studying means managing a bunch of competing deadlines. It can be overwhelming and sometimes it feels impossible. Figuring out the best ways to study means developing strategies for planning your time that will help you to stay calm, organised, and on top of everything. Check out our top time management tips for students below.
1. Make plans, score goals
Set out a list of what you want to achieve. For each item, write down what you'll need to do. Make it manageable and achievable. The idea is not to freak yourself out, but to chart a course to where you want to be. As you work through the list, you'll see yourself approaching and reaching your goals.
2. Write it down
Write down appointments, notes and ideas in a diary, notebook, or calendar app, and use a wall planner and stick it somewhere prominent, like next to your bedroom door, so that important dates (or just planned fun times) don't pass you by.
3. Limit distractions
Technology is pretty great but it also provides a heap of ways to procrastinate and distract yourself. Limit your social media scrolling to your breaks and shut down these distractions while you're studying. If you’re really struggling to log out, use a program like SelfControl to block social media sites for set periods of time.
4. Take breaks
If you cram study into every single minute you've got, you'll probably end up stressed and unhappy. Make sure you take time to relax and do things you enjoy. Whether it's sports, video games, music or anything else, don't let it go just because you're studying. Figure out the method of breaking up your study sessions that works best for you - many people swear by the Pomodoro technique, which recommends working in 25-minute intervals with short breaks in between, but you might find that longer study sessions work for you. Whatever you decide, try not to go any longer than an hour without taking a break.
5. Set a time to finish everyday
It can be so easy to just read one more chapter or write one more page. It's important that you give yourself some time to recharge and relax. This is especially the case if you're studying at night, as your brain might need time to unwind before falling asleep. Set an alarm each day to let yourself know it's time to finish for the day.
6. If you need back up, ask for it
Time management for students is a skill. Like any skill, some people are better at it than others. If you're struggling with it, talk to someone who can help – teachers, friends, family, lecturers and counsellors. You might find that a strict schedule works best for you, or you might find that changing things up helps keep you energised and on your toes. Whatever time management strategy works for you, there will be a person or a website ready with advice and wisdom to share.