There would have been many days in your student lives up till now when you would have thought “God! Why only 24 hrs in a day?”. You are bound to be active and surely you will have things to do apart from your studies/work. You might have various interests in different fields such as sports, arts etc. and probably you are pursuing them too. In addition to that, you probably have to help out your parents, talk to your friends and the list is never ending. If you feel that you do not have enough time to do all the things you are interested in, then time management is your solution.
Now, the basic question comes up, “what is time management?”. Time management is a practice you can develop to improve your efficiency of the effort you put in, which will eventually turn into a habit. It is the way you regulate your time and schedule your tasks. It is time to pull your socks up and organize your time better. Never let time control you! You should be able to control your time. In today’s competitive world it is not just enough if you study hard, you need to study smart! The way to do this is you need to invest time not spend it. When things are done efficiently, the quality of your work improves and you get things done on time. When you complete things on time, it reduces stress which means you are happier and healthier.
So, now that we are clear about “what and why time management?”, here are some suggestions as to how you can improve Time Management:
BE MORE ORGANISED
- Prepare a weekly time table with devoted hours for every subject you need to and every activity which needs to be done. Maintaining a checklist can help you not forget anything important to be done.
- Organize your study table so that you do not waste any time in searching for your notes n textbooks.
- Use an appointment calendar for all the activities including studies
- Use the checklist for daily/weekly/long term activities.
ALWAYS PLAN IN ADVANCE
- Before you take up a task, find out how long it will take to complete it and plan accordingly.
- See that it is not clubbed with anything else.
- If the task is too big, then break it down into sub tasks and plan accordingly.
PRIORITIZE AND PERFORM ACCORDINGLY
- While listing the tasks in your checklist, assign priority to them. Â Below given is a graph which you can use to assign priorities. As you can see we have 4 categories, arranged according to their priorities:
- Urgent and important
- Urgent, but not important
- Not urgent, but important
- Not urgent and not important
Make sure that you your list has majority of the tasks in category 3. If you do not complete the tasks of category 3, then it will eventually lead to overload and have minimum tasks of category 4.
DO NOT GET OVER BURDENED
- Avoid multitasking.
- Take breaks in between the tasks
- Do not postpone the tasks for the last minute
SET PERSONAL GOALS
- Set goals that motivate you, they should be important to you. Motivation is the key to achieving goals.
- Set SMART goals.
- T:Time Bound
- Set goals in writing
- See that you stay focused.
- Put up pictures of natural scenes or wildlife on your study table, it improves your concentration.
- For some people listening to instrumental music also improves your concentration and does not allow distraction to interrupt your progress.
IMPLEMENT EFFECTIVE METHODS WHILE STUDYING
- Have a separate study place
- Clear your doubts as soon as possible
- Always start with the complex topics
- Assign due dates and complete them by then
- Always be attentive in class.
KNOW WHAT AND WHY YOU ARE DOING
- Know your long term goals and take up most of your tasks thinking about your ultimate goals.
- Be sure about what is most important for you and what you value the most.
- Always have a positive mind set.
- Never forget the Big Picture.
Time management is a journey which you have to embark by taking up the initiative and following the guidance provided above. It takes patience, practice and above all certain level of discipline. Be aware of how you are spending your time for time once spent can never be retrieved.