We have all been there. It is almost midnight and your paper is due the next morning. Are you ready to turn it in, or will you be up all night trying to finish and edit the paper just in time to turn it in the next morning? I you find yourself cramming for tests and not getting enough sleep to stay awake in class, you need to develop some skills. As students, we need to be sure we have good time management skills. No one wants to pull an all nighter, but without these skills, you will be losing precious sleep. Here are eight time management skills every student should know.
1. Set realistic goals
We all think we can write a seven to ten page paper in a night. Maybe we can, but it will not be our best work. It will probably be a rough draft full of errors. Instead, set a goal to get one page done a day and leave time to rewrite and edit when you are done your first draft. This way, you will not be up all night trying to stay awake at the keyboard.
2. Create a weekly schedule
At the beginning of the week, write down what you are expected to accomplish in each class. Make sure to check your class syllabus and know exactly what you need to read and write. We sometimes forget to check the syllabus and end up behind in a class. Once you have checked all your syllabi, form a weekly schedule around your class requirements. Be sure to leave enough time for reading and writing and do not forget to schedule lunch and dinner. Be sure to schedule time for homework and work that is coming up later in the month.
3. Prepare for class the night before
If you do not prepare for your class the night before, you will be running around your dorm trying to find out what needs to be done before you get to class. Take a few minutes and make sure you have read and written what needs to be done for class the next day.
4. Use your smartphone
You can set up appointments or write down what needs to be done and when. I generally try to enter in all of the papers or labs for the semester in the beginning of the semester. That way I know what is coming up. If you haven’t done that, don’t worry. You can start entering things in order to get more organized. One trick I have found that seems to work is to put in your due dates for papers a day or two early. That way when you are done, you still have time to look the paper over before you turn it in.
5. Take study breaks
As important as it is to sit down and get your work done, it is also important to take breaks. If you do not take a break you will not be absorbing as much information. Get up and take a walk. Go to the nearest Nestle Toll House Café and treat yourself to some cookies. Find a Pizza Express and grab a slice to go. Be sure to clear your head for the next round of studying so you can return awake and refreshed.
6. Keep a routine
Be sure to set up a routine and stick with it. If you want to go to the gym before class, do it at the same time every week. Your mind will start to expect it and it will become a habit. The same goes for studying. Pick a time that works for you and study the same time every day. You will get into the habit, and you will not need to look at your schedule nearly as often.
7. Attend your classes
I know, some professors are boring and some classes are dull. Nevertheless, you should attend every class. If you do not attend class, you will fall behind and you will spend precious time trying to catch up with what you missed.
You need to be resilient if you are going to make time management work for you. It takes time and practice to accomplish this goal. Once you have accomplished it you will be ready for anything.
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