Setting up a study timetable helps you manage your time, visualize any exams/study you have coming up, and priorities your time for the subjects that you need to work on more than others.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Many people suffer from procrastination. Procrastination is when you keep putting a task aside for later and it never is done. The most important tool for dealing with this is a daily/weekly study schedule that is designed to suit your individual needs. Set it out in a tabular format showing each day of the week.
Firstly, ensure that you have enough leisure activities (i.e. time with friends, family time and study breaks). Remember that you must unwind. Only take what you need. Secondly, the more detailed you make the schedule, the better chance you have of sticking to it. Try to include the topic you plan to revise or the past paper you plan to do in a particular time slot.
We have listed some tips to help you prepare your study timetable:
- 45-minute sessions are the most effective – take a 10-minute break every 45 minutes to refresh. Try taking a walk outside to get some fresh air too.
- Study is best done when most mentally alert – that is the first thing in the morning or at night depending on when you focus the most (morning or night person)
- Spend more time on the difficult subjects that you do not like as much – you do not need as much time spent on areas you are already good at and enjoy. Spend a bit more time understanding subjects you find more difficult; it will be worth it in the end.
- Keep a balance – include time to socialize, exercise and work you do not overload yourself with study and burn out.
- Put it somewhere you can easily see it – Pinned to a board behind your desk, wardrobe door or the back of your bedroom door. In addition, do not be afraid to get creative!
Set Time Wisely and Be Realistic
When you plan out all of the activities that you do for a week or a day, it is important that you think about how long you are going to spend on doing a certain activity.
You should also be realistic of how much time you should spend on your daily activities. For example, if you aim for a good grade, you should not cut down on the time you spend on studying although you might think you are a smart and quick learner. In addition, although the number of hours you spend on sleeping might be quite a lot, you should not cut down on it either. If you do not have enough sleep, you would not be able to feel alert and concentrated. You will also be physically exhausted as well, which will affect the productivity and quality of other activities that you take part in.
It is worth noting that when sometimes, things might take longer that you would expect. For example, the time you spend on taking a bath is not just about how long you are in the bathroom. You should also count the time you spend on collecting your clothes, drying your hair and taking care of your body afterwards.
When you are able to allocate the amount of time you spend on each task, you will not overspend time on one task and run short of time on another.
Do not be afraid to recreate your lists over and over again. So if your list of five is not working for you or is looking a bit scrappy, create a new one!
Once you have made your list you need to take action. The act of making the list will make you feel on top of everything but this can be a trap.
Have you ever made a plan and then thought, “I’ve done enough for today. I’ll get started on this plan tomorrow”? If you have this thought after making a plan, alarm bells should be going off. You are about to procrastinate!
Remember, even with your list of five (or list of one), nothing will actually be done unless you take action.
It is well known that having good time management skills is very hard to acquire. However, with your strong determination as well as knowledge on proper techniques and tips about time management I provide here, you would be able to control your time effectively, achieving the best results you could possibly get with your studying and having a great social life while you are at university.
When you can control your time well in college, you will soon find out how useful and valuable this skill is for you once you go out and face the fast-moving working world.