29 Jan 2020

Hectic Schedule? Here’s A Student’s Guide to Effective Time Management Skills

Do you ever make extended plans with your friends months prior, but when the day finally comes, you’re barely breathing under a mountain of assignments? Let’s not forget about that time you almost missed a deadline because you ended up doing everything at the last minute. Or that time you barely passed an exam because you felt like you didn’t have enough time to study. Moments like these probably make you realize how weak your time management skills are.

Yes, we’re calling you out on your poor time management skills.

You see, despite popular belief, time management skills aren’t limited to successful people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos. In fact, you can improve your time management skills with these neat tips:

Minimize distractions

We’ll lay it down straight for you: If your environment is crowded with distractions, you’ll undoubtedly lose focus before you’ve even begun. Caving in to your distractions is a classic sign of bad time management skills – scrolling through your news feed and tagging your friends in memes is just another means of procrastination.

One of the best ways to deal with this problem is by freeing up your study space. Put your phone out of your arm’s reach. Remember: The more you give in to your constant urge to check your phone, the longer you procrastinate, and the poorer your time management skills are. Create your own optimal study space – you can do this at your study desk or at a library. Try changing up your environment time and again to limit your distractions, increase your productivity level, and eventually improve your time management skills.

● Slow and steady

What if we told you that your supposed ‘mountain of assignments’ are actually your fault and not your professor’s? You’d probably be appalled, step back a little and let out an offended gasp. But deep down, you know that it’s because of your bad time management skills. Don’t worry, and we’re here to help with your time management skills.

Begin by dividing your work into smaller, manageable tasks that you can accomplish with ease. Slow and steady is the motto here – do things one step at a time.

Don’t know where to get started? Use the Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle. The process here is simple: Divide your tasks and categorize them as urgent and/or important. Then, prioritize the ones that are both urgent and important followed by ones that are less important or urgent. This way, you’ll eventually be able to complete your work and polish your time management skills.

● The Pomodoro Technique

We can’t really talk about time management skills without bringing up the Pomodoro Technique. Developed by Francesco Cirillo, it’s simultaneously simple to learn and life-changing when used – especially when it comes to shaping up your time management skills. The process is simple:

Create the Pomodoro: Pick 1 task to work on, set up a timer for 25 minutes, work on it for 25 minutes, and once the timer rings, take a short break. Your break can simply mean taking deep breaths, meditating or stretching.

Once you’ve completed 4 Pomodoros, take a longer break before starting again. A more extended break can mean making a cup of coffee or playing a quick game.

Why is this technique so useful when it comes to time management skills? It can help you deal with interruptions (your phone will no longer be your kryptonite), make up a fixed amount of time-based input for each task (no more ‘mountain of workload’), and lastly, it keeps you focused on the task at hand.

The 90-minute trick

Aah, sleep – the only solace you can hope to find during a stressful week. You probably wouldn’t believe us if we told you that sleep could actually help you with your time management skills. After all, sleep takes up a considerable portion of your daily schedule. Like a computer being put on sleep or shut down mode, your body needs its time to reboot and function properly. As an HBR article suggests, “the highest performance occurs when we balance work and effort with rest and renewal.”

One of the best ways to work this out for time management skills is through a concept called the ‘basic rest-activity cycle’. Introduced by Nathaniel Kleitman, it reveals that we progress through five stages of sleep during every 90 minute period at night. Of course, our bodies follow the same pattern during the day too – which means that when we’re awake, we progress through different levels of high to low alertness every 90 minutes.

This concept shows why it’s essential to cave into the basic need for rest – instead of seeking out temporary escapes like caffeine, sugary foods. Thus, by increasing your productivity, you’ll be able to improve your time management skills.

● Keep track of your time

When we say, “Keep track of your time,” we don’t mean that you stare at your watch with bated breath as the clock hands tick by. That’s not what time management skills are meant for. Rather, we want you to make a note of the amount of time you spend on each task. Maybe you need 15 minutes to write a page. Or maybe you can finish a chapter in an hour. Or perhaps you can solve a math problem in 20 minutes. Either way, don’t let your favorite TV show or cute puppy videos drag you down into the abyss of media content. Set your own deadlines for each task. If all else fails, at least some deadline-induced panic should do the trick.

Final Thoughts

As a student, possessing good time management skills is important as any other skill out there. Besides, the last thing you want is to crack under the pressure of an overwhelming amount of assignments that you could have finished beforehand.

At LBEF, we’re here to help. We firmly believe that education is an integral part of your growth, and we make it our constant endeavour to provide the best of facilities and resources to our students. Realizing that it’s essential to ingrain time management skills into our students, we continuously push and motivate them to strive for better.

Besides, we also provide intensive and comprehensive training, internships, industry projects, guest lectures, seminars – all of which give the students at LBEF Campus the required boost for a head start in their career.

For more information, contact us.