Once you’ve developed a term calendar, weekly schedule, and daily schedule, there are several other strategies that will help you accomplish more and make the most effective use of your time. These include:
Prioritize your assignments. As you progress through your education, you’ll find the topics of study become more complex, the work load more demanding and the material more challenging. By the time you arrive at college, there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everyting done. Start the habit of beginning your studying with the most difficult, or important, subject or task first. Tackling the hardest subjects first, while you’re still fresh and energized, will make the remainder of your studies much easier.
Find a dedicated study space. Some students will spend the first 20 minutes of their study time just looking for somewhere to study. A key to ongoing time management is to find a dedicated study space free from distractions where you can concentrate. If you want to change up your study space, that’s fine, just make sure to find a study space that works and stick with it.
Create blocks of study time. Not only should you have a dedicated study space, you should have dedicated study time–blocks of time where you focus on your studies. Blocks around 40 to 50 minutes are ideal, but may be longer or shorter based on the subject and your ability to focus. It’s okay to take study breaks during your blocks for a snack, or just to get up and walk around, but make sure to return to your studies.
Schedule activities for after your school work. One of the most difficult, yet important, elements of effective time management is to put your school work first. It’s easy to say you’ll get your school work done later, or just before you go to bed. It’s just as easy to say you’ll do it tomorrow when bedtime arrives and you no longer have the disposition or energy to get it done. Complete your school work as soon as possible. Putting off less important activities until after you complete your school work will allow you stay on track and focus on your “fun” activities without the pressure looming school work.
Use helpful resources. The old adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again, while useful for many of life’s situations, isn’t always the best philosophy when you’re strapped for time and can’t figure out your chemistry homework. As you progress through middle school, high school and then into college, it’s wise to rely on the help, expertise and knowledge of others to assist you with the learning process. Smart friends, tutors, study groups, and even the Internet, are useful resources for tackling complex subjects and making the most effective use of your time.
Join a study group. Study groups offers several advatangeous to students, least of which is the ability to cover more material faster. Working in a study group makes it possible to research and learn about various topics quickly. Each member is assigned a topic and then provides a summary to the group.
Get exercise. Eat right. Get plenty of sleep. Yeah, you’ve heard this before, but let us say it again. Get exercise, eat right and get plenty of sleep. If you’re not at your peak, you won’t be able to focus or concentrate, nor will you have the energy or stamina to get your studies completed efficiently. Going to bed an hour early, can make all the difference the next day in your ability to make the best use of your time.
Be flexible. You can’t plan for everything. Unforeseen obstacles are bound to pop up, so plan accordingly and be flexible. Just want sure to get back on track as soon as possible and maintain your monthly, weekly and daily schedule.