One of the most common problems that hurts one’s life as a student is not having enough time to complete and compete with the curriculum in front of them to build the foundation for a concrete career. Between classes, assignments, extracurricular activities, and the occasional desire for a social life, managing time efficiently becomes paramount.
Many of you have wanted to have more hours in hand to handle the hurdles you have with you. Knowing that it is impossible to extend the timeline we have with us, the only solution to tackle the shackles of time boundness becomes mastering the art of time management.
Understanding the need for time management
As a student, you’re not just learning subjects; you’re preparing for life. And life, with all its unpredictability, demands that we be adept at juggling tasks. The skill of time management can aid you in academic success and also help in:
Boosting Productivity: With a well-structured time-management plan, students can navigate tasks seamlessly. This enables students to complete assignments efficiently, ensuring they accomplish more in shorter time frames.
Reducing stress: With a clear time management strategy, students can pace themselves, ensuring consistent progress. Being organized means no more all-nighters and anxiety; instead, students can approach their tasks and exams with confidence, knowing they’re prepared.
Enhances Learning: Effective time management isn’t just about speed; it’s about depth. By dividing study sessions into focused intervals, students can dive deep into topics without feeling overwhelmed. This approach, rather than long, continuous hours of study, ensures better comprehension and retention of information.
Frees Up Leisure Time: One of the unsung benefits of time management is the liberation of personal time. By studying efficiently, students can free up pockets of time for relaxation, hobbies, or social activities. This balance ensures they recharge, returning to academic tasks with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.
Techniques for Time Management
Several techniques and methodologies for time management have been developed across the globe to solidly structure and organize the lives of students. We can discuss some of the important ones among them:
Pomodoro Technique: This method involves breaking your study time into short intervals (usually 25 minutes), known as ‘pomodoros’, followed by a 5-minute break. Every fourth break is longer, about 15 minutes. This technique can enhance focus and concentration.
Eisenhower Box: Here, tasks are sorted into four categories based on their urgency and importance. It helps prioritize tasks that are both urgent and important, ensuring that crucial deadlines aren’t missed.
Time Blocking: Allocate specific blocks of time for specific activities. For instance, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. might be reserved for a particular subject, ensuring that you touch upon every task without letting any one of them consume your entire day.
The Two-Minute Rule: This technique is simple yet highly effective. If you come across a task that can be completed in two minutes or less, do it immediately instead of postponing it. It prevents small tasks from accumulating and consuming more time later.
The 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle): The idea behind this rule is that roughly 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Identify the most important tasks that yield the most significant results, and prioritize them. Focus on the tasks that have the most impact on your goals and spend less time on less critical activities.
Digital Tools for Time Tracking
With the advancement in technology and science, we now have the aid of digital assistance tools and applications that can help us track and manage the time we have with us. Let’s have a quick look at some of them.
Trello: A visual task management tool, Trello allows you to create boards for different subjects or projects and move tasks through columns as you progress.
Forest: If you’re looking to reduce phone distractions, Forest is an app where you plant a virtual tree, which grows over a set time, say 25 minutes. If you exit the app to check Instagram or messages, the tree withers. It’s a motivational tool to keep you focused.
Toggle: Toggle is a simple time tracker that can help you understand where your hours are going. By analyzing patterns, you can determine when you’re most productive and if you’re spending too much time on specific tasks.
RescueTime: This app runs quietly in the background, tracking time spent on applications and websites and offering a precise picture of your day. With detailed reports and the ability to set alerts for specific activity durations, students can gauge and adjust their digital habits to ensure productive usage of time.
Notion: A versatile workspace app, Notion combines note-taking, task management, and scheduling. With its intuitive interface, students can organise their study schedules, assignments, and even collaborate on group projects. Its flexibility allows for personalised time management structures, catering to individual study patterns and preferences.
To thrive in the student realm, mastering time management is no longer a choice—it’s a necessity. The techniques and tools that we have discussed here can help you get equipped with an arsenal to combat procrastination and optimize productivity. Embrace the marvel of time management and watch as doors of opportunity swing open.