Education is going through the huge transformation raising more questions than answers. While others can afford to be observant of changes, students getting ready for exams and carrying on their studies, have to search for ways of adjusting to new normal on-the-go.
To reduce stress of uncertainty and be responsive to unplanned change, students need to master the art of time management. Some practical time management tips on time allocation and balancing the load of studies can be a game-changer in reaching for goals.
Follow our tips presented in an easy-to-navigate system of THREE 8.
Normally, students' time is divided among the following THREE blocks of 8 hours:
- 8 hours of study
- 8 hours of time off
- 8 hours of sleep.
Since the time allocation is permanently linked in 24 hour-cycle, time management implies building time strategies and switching successfully between these THREE 8.
THREE 8: Study Time
The things of importance for successful time management in the first block of 8 hours of learning and acquiring new skills are:
- goal setting
- organizing a daily schedule
- tasks management
- time tracking.
Below, there are fast and effective ways of organizing the schedule and calculating students' time for guaranteed productivity and success in learning.
Being too busy and getting easily distracted is a toxic combination for time management. To prevent it, set goals for the day (humans like nature live by calendar, and so do you), prioritize them by importance rather than urgency, and then tackle study goals that demand most attention and focus.
Setting a high priority for important tasks (be careful, the final exams might seem not urgent at all but it does not diminish how big they are) will give you control of your time. The point of making efforts on creating a routine is to see direction clearly and not waste time on deciding what to do next.
You need to remember that the time you neglected or lost never stopped its motion. Luckily and mostly, it is never too late to restart for having a better day.
The temptation of multitasking might be very high especially when there are several deadlines ahead but falling for it is unwise, to say the least. According to research, people when trying to multitask always compromise on performance.
In particular, Dave Crenshaw, the author of the best-seller The Myth of Multitasking pointed out:
When most people refer to multitasking, they are really talking about switch tasking. No matter how they do it, switching rapidly between two things is just not very efficient or effective.
On the contrary, monotasking has a number of benefits: focusing on one learning activity ‘roots’ the material you study and helps memory to process the knowledge faster.
As the old saying goes Festina lente, or make haste slowly, and nothing rings more true when it concerns study. To allocate time with precision, try to apply time tracking in your studies: it will show you not only how long it takes to prepare assignments or do tests but also help you identify your productivity peaks in a timeline.
Organize study at home
Talking about studying at home, we mean the importance of organizing the environment for deep work and sorting out what digital assistants you need to apply for achieving perfect results.
The key to successfully studying at home is to be in a zero distraction zone that lets you stay focused and feel most productive. While working from your laptop or tablet, you might use the tools we list below in the section 'What assistants to rely on'.
Tips for Study Time
What time strategy to build during study time: Not to get overwhelmed by studying for big exams, know your time and schedule because procrastination usually stems from fear of losing control and lack of prioritization skills. Estimate the scope of your daily tasks and use a time tracker to calculate what you complete in the shortest time and what needs more complicated preparations.
What activities to avoid at study time: checking social media, texting during studying, surfing the net without aim, replying to emails every time you get notifications.
What assistants to rely on:
🎯 Lifetick specially designed for student goal-setting
🎯 Trello for schedule and task arrangements
🎯 TMetric for accurate time tracking of your online activity while studying from home.
THREE 8: Time Off
Things of importance in the second 8 hours of the day:
- optimization: search for ways of automating chores
- building your confidence and motivation
- hobbies that make you smarter and more resilient
- your habits.
To make your time most productive and switch to time off mode, keep in mind the following tips.
Optimize and Automate
Seemingly small changes like opting for automating grocery shopping, buying household items and such can create much more free time than you have now. Moreover, running errands can be both time and energy-consuming, and, thus, shift your focus from performing your best at study time.
Think of the list of errands you have to do weekly, and choose the automation solutions for reducing the time you spend on them. The rules of effective prioritizing are applicable to organizing your chores.
Read. Learn. Build Motivation.
Now when you know the ways of simplifying your routine, you have more time to read. Reading is enlightening for your intellectual horizon and entertaining for your mind. Additionally, it is reported to reduce stress by 68% and slow your heart rate in just six minutes.
Besides, time off is best to spend on hobbies, cultivating healthy habits, listening to motivational talks. The idea is to engage in the activity contributing to building your confidence, maintenance of motivation, and prevention of burnout.
Tips for Time Off
What time strategy to build for time off: Taking a break from your studies is vital as it helps unplug, recharge and 'reset' if needed. The best way to do it is to give your body and mind fresh air and fresh perspective. You will be amazed at the results of the 'regrouping' strategy.
What activities to engage in when you have time off: Keeping awareness while allocating time for various activities (whether it is sports, hobby, favorite music, or participating in the life of the community) is a good idea because it mentally conveys not just the present moment, but your relationship with the world in terms of showing where and why you are in the hour and day.
What assistants to rely on:
🎯SuperBetter for habit building
🎯Fooducate for cultivating healthy choices in daily menu
🎯 J&J for a science-based workout if you do not have time for the gym.
THREE 8: Sleep Time
Things of importance in the third 8 hours:
- sleep quality
- sleep quantity.
To manage your sleep and keep in sync with your body, practice the following tips.
Meditation is one of the proven techniques making a direct impact on better decision-making and training resilience. According to The Conversation ,
10 minutes of classroom meditation can gradually increase students’ levels of physical, mental and emotional awareness.
To get a full overview of the day you lived, cleanse your mind, reduce anxiety and stress, it is recommended to practice meditation for 5 to 10 minutes one hour prior to going to bed on a consistent basis.
Build a Healthy Sleep Routine
Sleep deprivation can make it harder to stay focused on studies so building a healthy sleep routine is a must. There are lots of recommendations on how to get a good sleep and wake up refreshed. Universally applicable is the tip on keeping sleeping space cool, dark and noise-proof.
Tips for Sleep Time
What time strategy to build for sleep time: To help you reduce stress and tackle anxiety, use the time before sleep for relaxing. Go on the same schedule every night to build healthy sleep routine. Additionally, give a try to keeping a journal to process all the events and exercise self-reflection or simply recall the good things of the day.
What to avoid to get good sleep: it is NOT recommended to have caffeine and energy booster drinks 6 hours before sleep. Besides, it is advisable to resist any digital push. Just curb time on social media. The same goes for bringing your laptop to bed to catch on your projects.
Instead, practice breathing exercises to calm your mind and get quality sleep.
What assistants to rely on:
🎯 Insight Timer for access to a free daily meditation practice
🎯 Sleep Cycle for tracking sleep and waking up ready for 'conquering the day'.
The importance of time management skills is evident as they are deeply linked in other vital skills the students will need to demonstrate in their future careers:
- literacy for clear communication
- analytical thinking for identifying and understanding patterns and systems
- creative thinking due to increased importance of design across any domain
- responsiveness because our interdependence will grow and ignoring it will be costly as the recent events showed
- assessment for precision in research and implementation.
Apparently, the complexity of these skills implies that the quicker you are, the better aligned you feel in a fast-paced environment.
The system of THREE 8 could come as the best solution for addressing time management issues for any student.