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9 Efficient Time Management Tips for Students

This article is about how students can incorporate effective time management tips into their day-to-day lives.

Everyone has 24 hours in a day.

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have 24 hours a day as well. But what drove them to achieve so much in their lives?  

They manage their time well! Here are 9 time management tips to put into practice, so you’ll become more focused and less stressed.

3 principles

  1. Own your time: Although classes, tutorials, and co-curricular activities take up the majority of your day, you can still make the most out of your personal time. Take ownership of your time with a weekly schedule. It’s impossible to follow the schedule tightly due to unexpected events. But you will be more productive when you use the schedule as a rough guide. As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” 

Useful tips: In your schedule, block out time for homework and studying. Write down all important dates in your calendar, e.g. tests, exams, assignment and project due dates in your calendar. By dedicating your time towards your priorities intentionally, you will be able to better manage out time.

  1. The Pareto Principle: The 80/20 rule states that roughly 80% of the results come from 20% of what you do. This is applicable to your academic studies as well. When it comes to effective studying, 80% of the marks generally come from 20% of the content. If you can master the content well, you can figure out how to get at least 80% of the marks. 

Useful tips: Identify the 20% of the things you need to do to achieve 80% of the results. Focus on the 20% relentlessly. 

  1. Parkinson’s Law states that our work expands to fill the time that we allocate to it. Do you notice that when you have a deadline coming up, you become more productive and are able to complete it much faster?  

Quick tip: You can always be a bit more efficient by giving ourselves less time to finish our tasks. 

3 tactics 

  1. Focus on a single task: Optimize your study time by not switching between tasks ( checking your phone and doing your work). It’s tempting to think that you can multitask. But the more you try to multitask, the longer everything takes. Instead, studies have found that by focusing on a single task at a time, you can be up to 500% more productive.  

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

  1. Exercise: Exercise boosts your memory and brain function. Additionally, it sharpens focus, increases and enhances mood. So your ability to sort out priorities, block out distractions and better concentrate on the task at hand improves significantly. By ensuring that your brain is functioning optimally, you’ll be able to concentrate better and manage your time better too.

Useful tips: Schedule time to exercise regularly in your calendar. You just have to get your heart rate up for half an hour most days.

  1. The 2-Minute Rule: It states that when you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. The idea is to make your habits as easy as possible to start. By making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no, it is helpful in overcoming procrastination and laziness.

3 tools 

  1. To-do list: The backbone of any productivity system is a good to-do list. If you have only one time management tool, this is the one you need. List everything that you have to do, with the most important tasks at the top of the list, and the least important tasks at the bottom. By prioritizing tasks, you plan the order in which you’ll do them, so that you can tell what needs your immediate attention, and what you can leave until later.  
  2. Pomodoro Technique: Research shows that working in blocks of 40 to 50 minutes is optimal for productivity. It’s important to take regular breaks at the right time as well. As a start, you can study for 40 minutes and have a 5 minutes break. 

Useful tip: You can use the Forest app to try out this technique. It will help you to stay away from your smartphone and be focused. How this app works: Set how long you want this session to last, touch the “plant” button, and you’ll see a countdown timer start ticking, beneath a cartoon picture of a small seedling. From then on, simply ignore your phone to allow the seedling to grow into a tree.

3) Get Harvest app: This will help you to track your time as you work. Start and stop the timer as you work through your to-do list. Study the results and see how you could do a better job in organizing your next day. 

About the author

Singapore Ad Hoc Tuition

Mathematics and Economics Specialist, making learning simplified for all students

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