Time Management for Students
Being a student can sometimes feel like you’re ensconced in a Gumby-like body that’s being pulled in every direction. Finding ways to organize your time may not be the most fun task in the world, but it can really help get rid of that constant “where-am-I-going-what-am-I-doing” brand of anxiety.
Mariana from Mariana’s Study corner has several tips and tricks students can use when trying to win at time management. The first tool? A good planner. Mariana describes how learning to fit your priorities into the small boxes of a planner is actually a lot like life: you have to be specific about what is most important, otherwise you won’t be able to fit everything in and will feel dissatisfied with your progress. “Setting an unrealistic goal,” Mariana cautions, “is one of the worst mistakes any student can make.”
Mariana also has ways to help her decide what task to tackle first. “When I write lists in my planner, I like to use a bullet system and organize my tasks with symbols, using a triangle for priority tasks, and a circle for non-priority tasks.”
Once you’ve outlined your big goals, Mariana includes other tips, such as color-coding your classes, and being specific about tasks. For example, instead of writing: “Study for English”, break down what exactly you’ll need to do to study for English. That way, you can more clearly see what is reasonable to expect yourself to accomplish each day. Creating bite-sized tasks is crucial to success, as it honors the brain’s need for breaks. After all, the brain is a muscle like any other muscle in your body. You wouldn’t do fifty reps working one muscle all at once; you would break your strength training into segments and work in a circuit to keep from burning out. The same is true for classes. Mariana advises not to spend more than 45 minutes to an hour on one subject at a time. She also says, “Don’t spend an entire week studying for the same class. Overlapping different subjects is great for your memory and is an instant flexibility boost for your mind.”