If you are or have ever been a student, even if only for a semester or two, you know how challenging it can be to find the time for everything that’s required of you. Especially when there’s always so much stuff to do apart from the actual studying.
There are so many aspects of a student’s life that demand attention and time: one needs to socialize, one needs to deal with the everyday problems, one may need to have a part-time job to sustain a living and/or cover the tuition fees, etc. And there are only 24 hours in a day and only 7 days in a week (as long as you stay on this planet, at least).
The truth is that we treat the time that we are given for granted, and we don’t know what to do with it, how to spend it productively. This problem is not exclusive to young people, but it is the young who suffer the most from it – with so many things to do and so little time for everything. This is why it’s especially important for young people to learn to spend their time effectively. Without further fuss, let’s go straight to the point and take a look at some ideas on how to optimize your time if you are a student:
1. GET AN ORGANIZER
It can be an old school notebook or an app on your smartphone, – whichever works best for you. Essentially, it should be a calendar where you input all the tasks that you need or want to have accomplished by a certain time and date. All tasks should be included, not only school-related. Since you – more commonly than not – live in only one timeline, your job, your socializing activities, your sleep, etc. should all be included in this calendar. You can categorize the activities topically and by urgency, writing them down in different colors.
Remember to check the tasks that you have already finished, to avoid wasting your time without the necessity by returning to what’s already done.
2. CREATE A PRODUCTIVE ENVIRONMENT
There are lots of tips that we can get from other people on how to boost productivity. Some suggest getting up early; others state the afternoon as the most productive time of the day. Some insist on working in a relaxed atmosphere in your crib; others recommend grouping up with other people who need to get something done to fasten up the pace…
The truth is that we are all different, and your perfect environment will depend on a number of factors, such as your character, your habits, your cultural background, your personal traits, your diet, etc. So, feel free to experiment and monitor your productivity at home or at a library, in the afternoon or late night, alone or in a group… Soon enough, you will find out all the details that help you to be ultimately productive with your studies, and then you can apply this knowledge in practice.
3. AVOID DISTRACTIONS
According to the organizer that you have got for yourself, you have allocated a certain amount of time for studying. You should stick to that and devote this time exclusively to studying. That means that you minimize your non-study-related involvement, all of it. Most importantly, this refers to your phone. You know how we all tend to just slide-to-unlock every couple of minutes just for the sake of it? Well, this should be eliminated. Perfectly, you should leave your phone somewhere out of sight, unless you need it for your studies.
4. AVOID PROCRASTINATION
Most of us have experienced this point where we need to get something started, but we just hesitate. This does not necessarily come out of laziness; it can be caused by fear of boredom, or by fear of failure, whatnot. It is totally needless to point out how exactly procrastination compromises the effectiveness of your time. It literally devours your time.
Here are some tips that should help you to combat procrastination:
Focus on the outcome. If there is something that you need to do, but you don’t feel enthusiastic about it, then think of how great it will be once you’re over and done with it, and focus on doing it in a way, so that you’d never have to return to it again.
Make up a “significant other.” Imaginary friends are for kids, but you can put them to good use now. Appoint an imaginary person before whom you are responsible for accomplishing a task and who will make no excuses.
Stick to red and blue. Scientific research shows that the colours around us influence our performance. Namely, blue spurs creativity and red inspire meticulous attention to detail. These two things are the opposite of procrastination. Be advised to have these colours dominate your studying environment.
Written and submitted by : Jacob Chambless