One of the biggest challenges when at university is how to organise your time. Effective time management at university is never easy because you are continually surrounded by distractions, some academic and some more social.
Here are some tips on how to manage your time!
Don’t waste time doing nothing:
Many students after a long session or multiple lectures just want to lie down and wait for the next event. Do not fall into this trap. Organise and set a specific time for study. It is important to study on a daily basis, preferably broken down into bite size chunks and if you already know how long you are going to spend on your studies, you can easily plan the rest of the day.
Don’t leave work and revision till the deadline or just before the exam:
If you study little by little every day you will feel less stressed. Also, most people tend to retain more information studying this way. Everyone has a different pace of study; some people can learn in a short time while others need longer sessions broken down into specific areas. No matter how many hours or how intensely you study, the important thing is to understand the topic and feel ready to pass the exam. Figure out early what method works for you and base your study activity around this method.
Use a diary:
Life at university will seem a lot more organised if you have everything planned. There are so many different types of diaries and planners it can all become a bit confusing, but once you get into the habit of using a planning tool, you will be surprised at just how helpful it is to more effective studying. Some of the online calendars and diaries are particularly useful as they allow events to be input when you are on the go via your phone or tablet and can sync across a variety of platforms and diaries meaning you never miss an appointment.
Start a new activity:
Although it is easy to think that starting something new can make the days even more hectic, actually a new interest, hobby or sport will help you unwind and distract you from day to day things. This will help you come back even more refreshed. It is all too easy to just sit and dwell on everything, both good and bad, and whilst reflection is a good thing, the reflection has to be constructive and well managed.
Avoid Social Networks such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
These are addictive and waste time, so try not use them before you have finished studying. They will make you lose concentration and you will easily get engrossed in threads, conversations and messaging, all the while taking you away from your studies. Also, it is all too easy to compare what you are doing to what others are doing, and whilst it may seem everyone else is having more fun than you, the reality is that most people only post the really good stuff.
Find the study method or best environment to make you more productive:
It can be all too easy to wake up, eat something and begin studying. Does having a shower and dressing as you would for lectures get you more in the mood? Or does getting your most comfortable clothes on getting cosy prepare you better for studies? Choose whatever works for you but try to get a pattern of behaviour that helps your studies.
Music and noise can also either help or hinder you. You may also find it better to start or join a study group with your classmates to share notes, ideas and this is also a great way to meet new people.
Get enough sleep:
Do not overdo things and try to sleep at least eight hours a night to avoid being tired the whole of the following day. Try to keep a regular sleep pattern and avoid regular late nights. There is nothing wrong with going out and enjoying a good social life, after all that is part of the attraction of university, but do try to keep a balance so your studies are not affected.
Avoid overuse of stimulants!
Most people enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, after all some people rely on a good coffee first thing in the morning. However, please avoid overuse and certainly do not let it begin affecting your sleep. The human body quickly becomes use to certain chemicals and it is better not to get into trap of needing these to study.