How to manage time as a student

To perform excellently in school, students should manage their time very well. Without an effective time management, students tend to perform below their potentials. If they would have graduated with first class, they may end up struggling to make second class.

This article discusses how students can effectively manage time in school to enable them perform excellently.

The following are effective ways to manage time as a student:

  1. Create a daily and a weekly to-do list and see to their execution
  2. Be conscious of your daily plans to enable you discover when you’re deviating
  3. Adjust immediately if you discover to be going against your plan
  4. Do not accept to engage in impromptu activities especially if it’s not related to your studies
  5. Select your friends
  6. Be willing to do away with friends who are not productive or those who are not motivating you
  7. Know the sole reason you are in school and stick to it
  8. Do away with time wasters
  9. Start your day with easy and small tasks, then go to complex or difficult ones
  10. Do not multitask – be focused
  11. Stick to what works for you, do not follow the crowd
  12. Create time for rest (breaks)
  13. Have a place set out for reading and a place for sleeping
  14. Use alarm device to remind yourself of your tasks

1. Create a daily and a weekly to-do list and see to their execution

A popular saying has it that failure to plan is equivalent to planning to fail. This is true.

As a student, having a to-do list will help you in no small measure. It will enable you manage your time effectively and ensure that you’re focused.

Focused student, no doubt, do well academically. Being focused as a student can only be possible if you have a daily and a weekly to-do list that is followed.

So, to manage time as a student, first thing you need to do every weekend is to draw up a to-do list for the week. Then, on Mondays, first thing you’re to do in the morning should be to use your weekly to-do list to draw up your daily to do list.

Your to-do list should be drafted using your course outline and departmental timetable.

In your to-do list, you should have a definite time for everything.

2. Be conscious of your daily plans to enable you discover when you’re deviating

In today’s world, we have got a lot of things distracting us. If a student is not conscious of his daily to-do list or plan, he may not know when he deviates from it.

Deviation from what a student has set out to do in a day may not be felt until it becomes a habit. This is even more reason you should never allow yourself to deviate from your to-do list even for a single day.

Build your subconscious mind to always force you back into your plan for the day, if you start deviating.

3. Adjust immediately if you discover to be going against your plan

We are all humans. We are, therefore, bound to make mistakes. Consequently, we are bound to, from time to time, go against our plan for the day.

Deviating or going against our plan is not an issue, the issue is what happens after that.

Adjusting and refocusing on our plan immediately we discover that we are deviating from it will, no doubt, will help us to manage time effectively.

This is what we should do when we discover a deviation from our plan.

4.Do not accept to engage in impromptu activities especially if they are not related to your studies

Before now, we discussed the importance of having a daily and a weekly to-do list.

Having a wonderful to-do list is good but following it through is better.

Not everyone who has a to-do list follows it. Those who are not disciplined enough can easily be carried away by interesting events that come up in between their plans.

Learning not to accept to engage in impromptu activities, no matter how interesting they may be, will go a long way in making you a better time manager.

5. Select your friends

Friends are important factors in our achievements. These could be daily, weekly or monthly achievements.

Therefore, we must know who we accept as friends. If you ask me, I’d say that confused, unfocused, unserious and unproductive people shouldn’t be in our friends’ list.

If they are already in the list, please get rid of them immediately. We should be particular about people we keep as friends.

Be picky when it comes to friendship.

You will agree with me that daily achievements birth our weekly achievements and our weekly achievements birth our monthly one. The emphasis here is that our achievements are cumulative; and our friends can influence them.

Having friends who don’t motivate you to be or to do more is not good for any person, including students.

They do not only make people mismanage their time, they end up making them achieve little or nothing for themselves.

Having only friends who have the same value system as you will enable you become more focused. They will keeping on motivating and pushing you to become a better person.

No person can be focused or achieve greatness without proper time management. It is, therefore, true that having friends who are always motivating you will enable you to effectively manage time as a student.

6. Be willing to do away with friends who are not productive or motivating you

This point is self explanatory. If at any point in time, you discover that one of your friends is not productive or motivating, please do away with him/her.

Bad energies are transferable and you shouldn’t experiment with yourself to know if they can be transferred to you.

7. Know the sole reason you are in school and stick to it

Be self aware. Know what took you to school and focus on it.

Doing so will enable you to manage your time effectively.

Please note, we are not saying here that you should live a boring and a linear kind of life style; going from your hostel to lecture halls, then from lecture halls to the library and back to your hostel, and repeating the cycle 7 days a week. No. You shouldn’t do this.

The point we are making here is that you should know when to draw a line.

8. Do away with time wasters

Time wasters in this context are not just people. Time wasters could include TV programs, social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, social and religious activities etc.

Anything that is not adding value to you and it’s not helping you to get refreshed for the next task ahead is a time wasters.

Social media steal people’s time the most. To conquer it, you may want to adopt any of these:

  • Put your phone in airplane mode when studying or doing your assignment
  • Leave your phone at home when going to read or do an assignment
  • Switch it off when reading/doing your assignment
  • Turn of your data (if you will be disciplined enough)
  • Be disciplined not to use your phone until you’re done with your academic activities.

9. Start your day with easy and small tasks, then go to complex or difficult ones

We are complex beings. We often have a common behavioural pattern.

It is a known fact that we tend to abandon tasks for a later time (procrastination) when they become difficult and overwhelming.

To avoid such from happening, start your day with tasks that are small and easy.

This way, you will be motivated to continue after successfully finishing the small and easy tasks.

10. Do not multitask – be focused

Do one thing at a time. Never multitask as a student. Doing so (multitasking) does more harm to your time than good.

Doing one thing at a time will make you to be more productive; as you will achieve at least one of your set goals for the day.

Multitasking may likely make you not to complete a single task in a day.

11. Stick to what works for you, do not follow the crowd

As a student in the midst of a lot of students, you may have students you admire. Those you love how they do their things.

Wanting to adopt their method of doing things may not be out of place for you.

We are not equally against it so long it will make you become efficient.

But then, study yourself to determine what works for you.

Some students function well at night, while some don’t.

For instance, some students can remain awake for long hours in the night reading or doing their assignments. Some students find it difficult to keep awake at night.

Night reading is important but if you are among students who find it difficult to keep awake at night, please make proper use of your days and sleep at nights.

Do not follow the crowd. Find out what works best for your and stick to it.

Doing so will make you an effective time manager.

12. Create time for rest (breaks)

Humans are not machines. Even machines break down when they over used.

As a student, not having a break period will do you more harm than good.

Rest refreshes us, and we function better after we are refreshed.

Not having a resting period between your daily task can exhaust you.

13. Have a place set out for reading, and sleeping

We talked about being focused as an effective way to manage time as a student. Being focused entails having a clearly defined task at every given point in time and giving it all our attention.

Creating a reading place will program our body to always adjust and be in a reading mode whenever we are there.

On the other hand, creating a sleep place will have a similar effect. Once we get there, our body will adjust to sleep.

Training our body to react in a certain way when we are in place will enable us benefit maximally whenever we are in such places to do what we have trained ourselves to be doing there.

This is will enable us manage time effectively.

14. Use alarm device to remind you of your tasks

Do you desire not want to miss a particular item in your to-do list, then set a reminder.

We save time whenever we plan to do stuff and do them according to plan. As humans, we may often forget to follow through our plans. Setting a reminder will, therefore, help us not to leave any item in our daily to-do list unattended to.

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