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Time Management And Study Tips For Students

Studying Tips For StudentsTime management, organization, planning and study skills are so important for college students. School and social activities, along with possible family or work responsibilities add up quickly. It is so important to learn how to effectively use your valuable time. Better time management skills can hopefully help you balance your daily schedule. It is extremely helpful to evaluate your priorities and time when you are planning your course studies.

Time management skills may help you plan your weekly activities and set your realistic goals. A major consideration is to decide when you are going to study, whether it will be a specific time each weekday in the mornings or evenings, or a larger amount of time during the weekends. It is also helpful to be aware of how much time your instructors recommend for studying, preparing assignments, and participating in a class or online course.

Online Learning or The Virtual Learning Environment

Online learning or the virtual learning environment is being used by universities and colleges to provide instructors the ability to teach college courses online and effectively communicate information in a timely manner with students in their online class. This method of instruction is becoming more popular.

Use a Daily/Weekly Planner or Calendar

You may decide to use a daily/weekly planner or calendar to:

Make note of all regularly scheduled activities and responsibilities.

On the first day of class, note all assignments, exams and due dates.

Schedule study time.

Set deadlines for yourself.

Review your schedule at the beginning of each week (Sunday or Monday) and adjust it as new demands arise.

Make a task or "To Do" list each day.

Plan Study Hours for the Week

This may help students to stay current and organized.

For example, for online courses, college instructors may suggest allowing 10 to 16 hours per week for total online and off-line time for each course.

Best Time for Studying

Identify your best time for studying. Students may have specific times throughout the day where their attention and concentration levels are at a peak performance level for studying.

Are you routinely a morning person or a night person? It is helpful to use your peak performance times to study. You can use the down times for routines tasks, such as laundry, errands, and housework.

Take Short Breaks When Studying

It may be helpful to study difficult, challenging subjects first. When you are alert and refreshed you may process information more efficiently and save time.

You may wish to study in shorter blocks of time. You may decide to routinely take short breaks during your scheduled study time. This will hopefully keep you from getting fatigued and help you stay productive and get good results.

Study in Shorter Time Blocks

It may be helpful to study in shorter time blocks with short breaks during your study session. This may keep you from getting tired and mentally fatigued.

This type of studying may be productive because while you are taking a short break, the brain can still process the information.

Study Environment

It may be a good idea to make sure that your environment is conducive to studying. This will allow you to limit distractions which can waste time and interfere with your concentration.

If there are times in your home or your apartment when you know there will be noise and lots of activity, you can decide to use that time for mindless tasks.

Balance Your Life

You may want to make time for entertainment, hobbies, and relaxation in your life.

You may want to make sure that you have enough time for a social life. It is important to have a balance in your life.

Setting Goals

Setting goals may be incorporated into your daily and weekly planning.

There are long term and short term goals.

Goals are what you are working towards achieving in life.

Write Your Goals Down

Goals should be realistic, achievable, and measurable.

Your goals should be specific.

For example: "I want to complete my Associate's degree by May 2012."

Another example: "My goal is to earn an A in my Medical Terminology class."

Expectations

You may want to set goals that are realistic and achievable, or you may feel disappointed if you do not reach them. Know your future expectations.

Take into consideration all of the responsibilities and commitments in your daily life.

An example: If you work full time, (possibly different shifts), are a busy parent, and take 2 online classes, a realistic goal may be the following: "I will take 2 classes each session and earn a B or an A in each class."

Schedule Your Activities

At the beginning of each week, it may be helpful to write down your activities and study time for the week, including the assignments that are due for class. Sunday nights or Monday mornings may be an excellent time to write down your weekly schedule.

You will need your calendar, work schedule, course syllabus & course schedule, any children's schedules, and assignment book or planner to write down your planned activities for the week.

Examples of things you would plan weekly for online college courses: study time including online class discussion time, necessary time to complete written assignments, reading assignments, specific study time for quizzes and exams.

You may also write down your routine work schedule, home tasks that need to be completed, your personal appointments, any children's appointments, time for grocery shopping, car maintenance, etc.

Managing Time

Multi-task when time permits by combining more than one activity into one time slot.

For example:

While watching television make a mental list of the things that need to be done or pay bills.

Study while at the laundromat, or waiting for appointments.

Read while you are on the bus or train, or waiting for appointments.

Complete Your Tasks on Your List

Focus on a task, get it accomplished, cross it off your list and move onto the next task on your list.

Don't be a perfectionist. Set reachable goals and work towards them.

Avoid things that waste time: long phone calls and long hours watching television.

Avoid procrastination.

Procrastination

It is important to keep your short term and long term goals in mind. Prioritize your tasks and try to avoid procrastination. It is helpful to keep your confidence, commitment and focus on your studies.

Difficult Tasks

If the task is very difficult, it may be helpful to break the task into smaller parts. How can you complete your task step-by-step? If you can concentrate on completing one small step at a time, the task will become easier for you.

You can ask for help. Instructors may offer help and support. If you have put off a difficult assignment, you may want to ask your instructor for guidance.

If there is laundry to fold or housework to do and you need to finish important work for your online class, ask your spouse or children for help.

Prioritize Your To Do List

Learn to Prioritize: Prioritizing your college responsibilities is very important. A helpful "to do list" places items in order of major importance.

One method is to divide your "to do list" into three separate sections. The three separate sections include the following: section one is for the tasks that need to be done that day; section two includes tasks that need to be completed within the week; section three are those tasks that need to be done within the month.

Save "Easy" Work

All tasks do not have the same degree of importance. It is helpful to place a * next to those tasks that are most important and must be completed that day.

Determine your most productive time of day and schedule tasks that you do not enjoy or the most difficult tasks for that time of the day. You will be more alert and focused and will be at your optimum performance level.

Save "easy" work for times when you know you will be tired or when there may be increased activity in the house and you may be interrupted.

Don't Forget to Use Your Daily Assignment Book

This may take some time for planning and scheduling on your part.

It is very helpful for students to use a daily or weekly assignment book, along with a current calendar where they can write down important due dates for reading and writing assignments, projects, quizzes, class discussions, midterm, and final exam.

Writing Your Schedule

Try writing your schedule on Sunday nights or Monday mornings.

Find a quiet place to concentrate and plan your weekly schedule.

It may take 15 - 20 minutes of your time.

Combine Activities

Combine several activities: Another suggestion is to combine several activities into one block of time.

While you routinely do some of your housework, listen to taped notes. This may allow up to an hour a day of study review.

While you are waiting for appointments, read your textbook.

Manage Your Daily Life!

Time management may help you to be able to have some control over your life - manage your time, don't let it manage you!

Hopefully, time management may help you to increase your productivity.

Avoid Overload

You may wish to include time for relaxation, hobbies, exercise, and socializing in your schedule.

Remember to take short breaks during study and work periods.

Don't put your assignments off until the last minute (don't cram for quizzes and exams).

A Positive Attitude!

Don't forget the "big picture" - planning helps you to successfully reach your long-term personal goals.

Please remember the reason why are you doing all of this planning.

Have a positive attitude and stay organized and you should see very good results!

How To Make Your New Time Schedule Work for You!

Scheduling will become a good habit.

Always remember that it is easier to find something to do with your extra time then to find extra time to do something.

Most importantly, make your new time schedule work for you!

By Deborah Sawran -





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