Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Isaac Newton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonardo da Vinci – they all had 24 hours a day, just like you and me.
What enabled them to lead such significant lives?
They managed their time well!
Learning how to manage time effectively is an important skill for students to master.
But many students in secondary school struggle with finding the time to complete all their assignments, leading to overwhelming feelings of stress and frustration. Good time management skills help students prioritize tasks — so they can complete school work and assignments on time. Students can plan, set aside the time they need for projects and assignments, and make better use of that time.
Becoming better at managing time allows students in secondary school to become more organized, more confident, and learn more effectively. It can also help students avoid the dreaded procrastination problem, which can be a slippery slope to stress, frustration, and poor grades.
Effective time management skills are especially important for secondary school students. As students enter high school, they have to deal with more subjects, assignments, tests, and extracurriculars. Good time management skills can help keep them on track and reduce stress as they take on more work.
More students than ever before are turning to online learning to further their education. Studies indicate that roughly one-third of all students are now taking at least one online course. Given the benefits of online learning like added flexibility, broader perspectives, and improved collaboration, it’s easy to see why so many students are drawn to virtual classes.
For students who are new to online learning, like those affected by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic or those simply looking to make a change, transitioning to online learning can take some getting used to. And, if you are adjusting to a full-time online program or balancing school and work, it is critical to be able to manage your time effectively.
Classes and workshops might take up the majority of your day, but how you schedule your own time can make all the difference. While much of the advice about time management for students centers around creating a to-do list, it’s more important to master your schedule.
Having a daily schedule template in place puts you in control. It will help you stay organized, focused on what matters most, and even help you overcome procrastination. The method of choice for many of the world’s most successful people—from Bill Gates to Warren Buffet—is called time blocking. Simply put, time blocking is when you create a template for how you want to spend every minute of your day. This might sound overwhelming. However, it’s more of a skeleton rather than a strict set of rules.
Avoid multitasking—which can decrease your productivity. Focus on one assignment at a time and zero in on the specific task at hand, whether that’s studying for an exam, reading a textbook, emailing a professor, or participating in an online forum. Arrange your tasks in order of importance, and pay attention to the three or four crucial tasks that require the most effort.
If you need help staying focused, then consider creating lists using a project management tool, such as Trello, to help organize tasks. If you prefer a traditional to-do list, then look at digital notebooks like Todoist, Wunderlist, or Evernote.
Lastly, concentrate on what needs to get done in the present and avoid anything too far-off. If it’s a small assignment that you don’t need to address for several weeks, put it on your calendar to focus on when the deadline is closer.
Make sure to avoid surfing the web excessively. It’s easy to become distracted by the news or your favorite celebrity gossip site. Stay focused, and avoid Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools when you need to concentrate on your studies.
If you’re struggling to stay focused, then consider the Pomodoro Method. This technique helps with productivity by arranging how you work to increase efficiency. The tool builds on 25-minute work sessions, optimizing your time to focus on your online studies. The best way to use this method is to:
● Set a timer for 25 minutes and work uninterrupted for the scheduled period.
● Take a five-minute break to grab a coffee, check emails, or do something else.
● Once you’ve completed four work sessions, treat yourself to a longer, 15-minute break.
If you’re still struggling with procrastination, download a website blocker for your Pomodoro sessions. Freedom, KeepMeOut, and Switcheroo minimize online browsing and let you follow through on your daily tasks. With these tools, you can block all websites or redirect your favorite sites to your school’s homepage.
It’s important to reward yourself after a job well done to avoid burnout. Otherwise, it will be difficult to concentrate on even the simplest tasks. You can reward yourself by celebrating your accomplishments and treating yourself to something you truly enjoy, whether that’s watching your favorite show on Netflix or having your favourite ice cream. If you’ve been working on an assignment for several months in a row, then take a week off when you’re finished.
Goals are a great way to get motivated to do school work. Unfortunately, the way most of us set goals is completely wrong. The problem is that goals are just the result. They don’t tell you anything about how you’re going to achieve them. Rather than starting at the goal and working backward, focus on what needs to get done to hit and surpass that goal. In other words:
What can you do every day that will help you achieve your ultimate goal?
This means focusing on consistent progress and building better habits.
For example, let’s say you need to write a 4,000-word essay by the end of the month. Rather than being overwhelmed by the end goal, set a daily goal of writing just 500 words. If you can keep this up, you’ll hit your goal in just over a week (giving you plenty of time to edit and rework it).
When you start to schedule your tasks throughout your day, it’s easy to be overly optimistic about how much you can get done. Psychologists even have a name for this: The Planning Fallacy.
This is harmful to your time management for many reasons:
● You’re more likely to get stressed when tasks take longer than you anticipated
● Your schedule gets pushed back to compensate for the extra time you spend
● You might take on too much work thinking you have more time than you do
To counteract the Planning Fallacy, work a buffer into your schedule based on your familiarity with the task. If it’s something you’ve done before, give yourself 1-1.5X the time you think it will take. If it’s something new, give yourself double the time or more.
“Time management” sounds like a simple concept, but it isn’t.
There are so many distractions in this digital age we live in. As such, it’s becoming harder and harder for students to master the art of time management.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to be a productive student. It just means that it’ll require effort on your part.
Effort to get rid of old studying-related habits and create some new effective habits