Time Management is important, especially when you’re a student. But sometimes, managing your time effectively is easier said than done. Good time management increases productivity reduces stress and gives you time to focus on the important things. So it’s a valuable skill to have. Here’s our ten tips to master time management.
1. Create a schedule
One of the most important elements to time management is a well-planned weekly schedule. A schedule gives you an overview of everything you have to do and helps you allocate sufficient time towards your studies, job and your social life. Note that we did not say create a checklist; schedules allocate time for you to do a task rather than overwhelming you with one big list of tasks like a checklist does.
Tip: A schedule does not have to be in a physical format like a diary, it can also be digital. Digital platforms like Google calendar can be great to help you stay on top of things.
2. Eliminate tasks
Eliminate unnecessary tasks and activities. Have a think if it’s really worth spending your time on each task. By eliminating non-core tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on what’s important.
3. Prioritize your time
Determining the urgency of a task can be tricky. A good way to approach it is to separate your tasks into three categories: urgent, important and low value. Studying for an exam tomorrow is urgent, going to work is important and buying an outfit for a party in 3 weeks is low value.
4. Plan your day
Once you know what tasks you have to do and by when, the next step is to create a daily to do list that fits in with your weekly schedule. Splitting up your day into blocks, with each block having a different task allows you to stay on track and makes your goals achievable.
5. Set a time limit
Set a time limit for each task. Allocate a maximum of two hours for each task at a time so that you stay focused and productive. Make sure you allocate time to relax and see friends too - time management isn’t only about study and work.
Tip: If you find yourself having lunch with friends when you’re meant to be studying don’t be hard on yourself, just realise that your study time will have to be rescheduled.
6. Have a realistic schedule
When it comes to time management, it's easy to get wrapped up in the idea of creating exact schedules. Be careful not to underestimate how much time a certain task will take. Be flexible, and allow some extra time just in case something needs more attention than originally planned.
7. Don’t strive for perfection
Striving for perfection is an easy way to mess up your time management. You’re better off completing a draft essay in 2 hours than only writing the first 100 words perfectly. Getting the small details correct can be important, but make sure you don’t spend too much time on them. Give yourself a time limit and if it takes longer than that, move on and come back to it.
8. Review your time
Every now and then it pays to review how you manage your time. It’ll let you see if your schedule is working or if you need to reorganise it. Also keep in mind your schedule may need to change based on how busy the week or month is. Be prepared for this and adjust your schedule accordingly.
9. Take care of your health
A crucial part of mastering time management is to look after your health. Nothing can be done when you’re sick, so looking after yourself is key to staying on track with your schedule. Allocate time for exercise and rest days and make you are getting enough sleep each night.
Tip: Activities such as exercising two or three times a week can help improve your sleeping pattern, clear your head and boost your brain power.
10. Relax and take breaks
Make sure to give yourself some down time to relax. Relaxation is essential when it comes to managing your time better. You can’t have a productive day when you are anxious and tired. Relaxation reduces stress and boosts confidence to tackle problems and get work done. Knowing you have a break coming up can also help you make your task-time more productive and keep from procrastination.