Time management can be a huge challenge for many university students, especially as they’re usually trying to juggle academic studies, work, a social life and living independently all at once. Not only are good time management skills key when it comes to successful study, it will also make life much easier in the long run. Here’s our 7 useful time management tips to help university students thrive in their studies.
1. Have A Study Calendar
A great place for all university students to start when it comes to time management is having a study calendar. Begin by writing out all taught university sessions/lectures and marking those out on the calendar. Next add in any deadlines and colour code for each subject so it’s easy to see what’s coming up. From here students can easily identify time gaps by looking ahead and planning out where they have free time to study, work on projects, essays or reports. For example, if a 5000-word essay is due at the end of the month, it will be easier to break the task down into manageable chunks and work on it a few hours per week, rather than rushing to finish it the day before hand-in. Finally, for the most effective results don’t forget to keep the study calendar up-to-date and check it regularly.
2. Keep A Weekly To-Do List
Students will often find that within a typical week they’ll need to tackle more than one task. We recommend starting each Monday with writing out a detailed to-do list and prioritising each task. Not only is prioritising their day something students will be able to continue to use throughout life, it will also help to motivate them to get the tasks done- there’s nothing better than the sense of achievement when crossing things off a list! Even though having weekly priorities and planning out what needs completing first isn’t going to guarantee it will get done, the process of planning helps students focus on what the task entails and gives direction and purpose to each day. We also recommend keeping the list in a prominent place that will be seen every day- somewhere like a bedroom wall or above a desk.
3. Keep Notes And Subject Material Organised
Almost 30 percent of studying time is spent looking for misplaced notes or items needed to work effectively. Time is valuable, meaning keeping lecture notes, study books and subject material organised and tidy will save students a lot of time searching for relevant material. We recommend keeping separate folders for storing lecture notes, seminar work or anything else that is useful for each topic area and keeping everything neat, typed up and labelled. It’s also a good idea to build up the habit of filing everything away after each university lecture so that notes don’t begin to pile up and become disorganised chaos.
4. Find A Good Place To Study
Being productive while studying is the key when it comes to using time efficiently for any student- this means finding a good place to sit and work is important. Ideally a good place to study will be free of distractions from friends, family members, phones, TV’s or any other hobbies. Whether it’s a library, coffee shop or just in an empty seminar room at university, students should try and find somewhere they can easily focus and concentrate. Many universities even have dedicated quiet study areas too!
5. Have Study Goals
Goals are a great way for students to get motivated to complete their studies efficiently and to the best of their ability. We recommend taking out the time and setting specific, measurable and realistic university-based goals and writing out what specific tasks need to be completed to reach that goal. Having these smaller sub goals to achieve a long-term goal does wonders for students when it comes to improving time management skills. In fact, it will help them stay focused and less likely to procrastinate or put off completing work.
6. Remove Distractions
Let’s face it, many students find it difficult to make time to study because they’re usually dealing with distractions or finding a replacement activity to keep themselves busy with. Whether it’s socialising with roommates, their phone constantly buzzing, or a fun social gathering- students are notorious for having busy lives. Instead, students should aim to work in spaces where there aren’t many distractions so their time is used effectively. Another idea is setting realistic goals for each study session, whether that’s only working for one hour and then going out for dinner with friends, or watching a movie with housemates after writing 500 words of an essay. Often students think they need the pressure of a tight deadline to be able to get on with their work, however, usually they’ll produce much better work under less stress.
7. Have A Balance Of Study Time And Free Time
Finally, the most important time management tip of them all- making sure students have a healthy balance of university work and free time for fun activities. Having this blend of the two reminds students that having good time management isn’t just about making sure they complete university work and get good grades, it also means they have the ability to make time for the things they really love doing too.