30 November 2017Opinion
Although I have never been much of a procrastinator, throughout high school and university I have seen countless people stressing, clamouring and even crying to finish assignments just minutes before the due date. Recently I witnessed my cousin (who has just completed high school) pull an all-nighter to finish an assignment the night before it was due, while I sat on the couch next to her playing video games without a care in the world. It made one thing very clear to me: time management is the key to any academic study.
Regardless of whether you are a university student, high school student, or even in primary school, having solid time management skills will not only reduce stress, but also provide you with a mountain of free time you never realised was possible.
Of course, for many university and high school students there can be factors that may contribute to your lack of ability to complete assignments on time, such as work and other commitments. However, a useful trick I have discovered that works quite well is completing any minuscule amount of the task as soon as you receive it. For me, this is often just writing the title or a sentence on the day I receive an assignment. Although this may not feel like much at the time, it makes coming back to the task much less overwhelming. Getting as much of a simple layout or outline down as quickly as possible can make things significantly easier later on.
Another tip to reduce stress and perhaps help with managing your time is to always save your work in two locations. I have dealt with the frustration of having all my hard work suddenly erased, and it’s definitely not fun. To avoid this ever happening again, I carry around a USB flashdrive, and whenever I complete any amount of work I save it to both my computer and the flashdrive. Not only does this provide some security and prevent ever having to start from square one, it also allows you to add to your work at times when you may not have your own computer with you.
My final tip concerning how to better manage your time is to simply start. When I feel no motivation, no drive or creativity, sometimes I simply grab my laptop, make a nice coffee and sit at the dinner table. I just begin writing, spurting out each and every thought as it comes, and naturally, once that coffee starts to work its magic, my brain begins to function and I get in the mood to work once again. Often, all it takes is for me to just begin writing to get my thoughts in order. Write down whatever you can, and, when you’re ready, go back and edit, change, and add whatever you need in order to get your work to a satisfactory level.
So, there it is, a few tips that will hopefully help you better manage your time when it comes to studying. These are some of my own methods that have helped me immensely during my time at school and university. Of course, some will be able to apply this advice more easily than others, and these tips might not be for everyone. But, hopefully with this, you’ll have some ideas for improving your time management.