Managing your time and studies
Study Tips·5 min read·08/02/22

Managing your time and studies

It has been said that time is the greatest equaliser.

It is perishable, it can’t be kept nor can we work harder to earn more and once it's gone, it's gone. No matter how rich or successful you are, you are gifted only 24 hours a day. No more. No less. And that's the beauty of it.

Of course, we all have our own bag of rocks to carry. Some bags are weightier than others and our paths are littered with hurdles of varying difficulty. But when it comes to arguably our most valuable asset, we are all powerless.

Or are we?

Given how precious our minutes and hours are, they should be wisely invested to the best of our ability.

Covering mini habits from the two-minute rule and time blocking, to harnessing the power of technology, keep reading for Scoodle's advice on time management.

How can technology best serve you?

These days, wherever you've got a problem, technology can offer a solution.

Need to be up in time to catch the bus, great, your phone is also an alarm clock. For the more forgetful amongst us, iOS reminders are a handy aid when you’ve got deadlines to meet. Looking to book a tutor fast, simply download Scoodle’s app, the list goes on.

When it comes to time management and keeping on top of your studies, technology can be invaluable.

Plan your time

Another tip is to keep a schedule, planner or timetable. If you’re a visual learner you might appreciate a wall planner. For managing your time on the go, try this in combination with the digital calendar on your phone. In your schedule, be as detailed as possible and aim to include everything. That's any academic deadlines and exam dates, part-time work, extracurriculars, tutoring lessons and other commitments.

You could even try the time blocking technique, proven to increase productivity. In its essence, time blocking is the practice of planning out every moment of your day, dedicating specific chunks or blocks of time for certain tasks. It works because it means rather than multitasking, you're inclined to focus on a single task at a given time and that intense focus means you’ll get more done. What's more, it's far more difficult to become distracted when you've allotted your time to a specific task already.

Having said this ...

You’re human, you will get distracted

Recognising that sometimes you will get distracted is also a part of managing your time. It is possible to both have a schedule and be flexible. The key here is in being realistic.

Try to be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a given day as writing a never-ending to-do list can leave you feeling unaccomplished and overwhelmed. Know the difference between what you want to do and what you need to do. It's simply a matter of prioritisation but the Eisenhower Matrix below is a framework designed to help you decipher what priority each task should be given.

There's nothing wrong with setting specific time goals for completing work, in fact, limiting time spent on a certain task can be beneficial for your productivity. Having said this, you can’t plan for everything. At times you must allow for the possibility of falling off track, having to reschedule and acknowledging that you might have misjudged how long a specific task would take.

Balancing your day right

A balanced day makes for better productivity.

On the odd occasion where things haven't gone to my planned schedule, it's often because I’ve not loaded my day correctly. In other words, I've done too much of something at once simply because I feel I'm in ‘the zone’. Instead, try to distribute your tasks evenly throughout the day to avoid burnout or loss of momentum.

On that note, you might want to try implementing mini habits like the two-minute rule. It's as simple as it sounds. If something requires less than two minutes to complete, do it immediately and remove it off of your checklist to avoid repeatedly pushing it back.

Waste not, want not

Another aspect to consider about time management is that you might actually have more time on your hands than you’d first thought. There is great benefit to recognising when you're wasting time and being able to redirect your efforts. Try to be more mindful, noticing when you have small chunks of the day that could be better spent. You might find that your hour-long commute, for example, could be spent better than scrolling aimlessly. Instead, why not use that time to reply to emails or do that extra reading you promised yourself you would.

Furthermore, give yourself time to get organised. Leaving time for organisation and planning is vital so that you can avoid falling into the same old bad habits. Moreover, reviewing your old habits - what worked well and what didn't - means the new habits you build will serve you much better.

Do what works best for you

Most of us will continue to wish there were more hours in the day and theres not enough mini habits in the world to change that. The tips included in this article are merely suggestions as ultimately, only you will know what works best for you. When it comes to planning study time, try to think about when you are most alert and have the least distractions so that you can optimise your learning.

If you're aware that your device usage can be a distraction, take action. Why not keep non-essential devices out of the room whilst studying, try turning your phone off or make a long password for your device so that you can be more mindful of how often you are logging on.

On balance, as important as managing your time and studying is, it's paramount to know when to have a break. Find time to socialise and unwind doing whatever it is you like best whilst bearing in mind that it’s a balancing act and you need to get your rest to study effectively.

Our relationship with time certainly changes as it begins to slip, incrementally faster, through our fingers and when it comes to studying in particular, you might not always feel like time is on your side. Therefore, it's important to hone your time management skills as soon as possible so why not try the tricks above and let us know how you get on.

If you are struggling to manage your studies, don't suffer alone! Browse our accommodating tutors who are on hand to help, anytime.

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