Manage Your Time As a Student

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Lynn, Alma, Eng

Time is a precious resource. "YOU HAVE THE TIME" is the perfect attitude to have to maximize this great resource and commodity. It can help you get work done fast without having to sacrifice quality. Learn how to manage your time as a student and studying will never feel like a chore ever again. But first, pause for a while and ask yourself if you are a polyphasic thinker.

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If you are a polyphasic-thinking individual, you do not pay much attention to your phone conversation because you're reading your email. And you won't remember what you read because you're also shaving and sipping your coffee as you take a bite of your ham and cheese (which will of course lump in your gut in one hour, partly because you ate it while you were on the phone).

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You're thinking that you're getting so many things done. What you're really getting is indigestion. You may actually accomplish more by trying to do one thing at a time and really do it well. Keep this in mind, but remember that there is an exception to every rule. There are times when multi-tasking is effective, even necessary. Take note though of your keyword, which is "choose". When a person chooses to do something, he is in command of the situation. For instance, you may choose to study while doing your laundry. You may ask your kids to quiz you with your notes while you're fixing dinner.

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The polyphasic behavior becomes a problem when you start doing it unconsciously, as a force of habit. Once you start noticing that you have your phone in one hand and your Tablet in the other, call for a time out. Ask yourself if this is necessary. This way, you can also stop and enjoy that ham and cheese without having to suffer indigestion later on.

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There are a lot of time management techniques about when and where to study, as well as how to handle the rest of the world, and a couple of other things. As you read on, circle, underline, or take note of the suggestions you think you can use, choose one or more of these techniques that may be useful to you now. Once they become habits, come back to this article and pick out several more!

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Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Time Now

When to Study

  1. 1
    Study the most boring or the most difficult subjects first.
    If your physics problems tend to put you to sleep, tackle them first, while you're still fresh. Focus on studying what you like later; be conscious that the courses you find the hardest often requires the most of your energy. Save the subjects you enjoy for later. If you find yourself trying to avoid a particular subject, get up one hour early to do it before you have your breakfast. With that chore over and done, the rest of your day can be a breeze.
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  2. 2
    Know your best time of the day.
    A lot of people learn best during daylight hours. If this is the case for you, schedule your time for the most difficult topics or subjects while the sun is up. Early in the morning is a pleasant time. Everything seems so quiet. Your inner voices are less insistent. So many spiritual leaders of all persuasions recommend pre-dawn as the best time for prayer and meditation. Your mind is better able to focus before it becomes assaulted by the jangle of emails, phone calls, traffic, and iTunes. Consequently, there are those that experience the same benefits late at night or after midnight. This is when they truly flourish. So it's really up to you to find out what time of the day you'll work best to study.
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  3. 3
    Maximize waiting time.
    Five minutes waiting for your bus, 15 minutes waiting for your dentist, 10 minutes in between your classes. All these waiting time add up fast. Use these wisely by readying short study tasks to do during these times.  
    1. Either have them in your iPhone or Tablet, or do it the old fashioned way, fill 3 x 5 cards with facts, definitions, formulas, etc., and pull them out anytime, anywhere.
    2. Also try and take time in between your breaks during work hours to review your class notes or notes on the reading you've done.
    3. A real solid review of a lecture can be accomplished in a good 15 minutes, and even five minutes can be of great value as long as you're prepared.
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Where to Study

  1. 1
    Have a regular study area.
    Your mind and body are aware of where you are. If every time, you use the same place to study, day after day, they become trained. Then, every time you arrive at a particular place, you are more capable of focusing your attention more quickly. Avoid watching TV, eating, playing games, or having other distractions while studying. Use your study area for study ONLY and make it a common ritual.
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  2. 2
    Study where you are sure you will be alert.
    While in bed, you're giving your body a signal. For a lot of students, it's likely to be, "Time to sleep," rather than, "Time to study." This is the reason you must not sleep where you study. Just like you've trained your body to be alert at your study table, you also train it to slow things down when you're in bed.
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  3. 3
    Use your library.
    Remember that libraries are designed for learning.
    The lighting is ideal, noise level low, and necessary learning materials are made available.  
    1. When you enter a library, you give your brain the signal to get quiet and buckle down to work.
    2. A lot of people can get more things accomplished in a shorter time at the library, so try and do the same experiment with yourself.
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Handling the Rest of the World

  1. 1
    Pay attention to your attention.
    When you have breaks in concentration, they're often caused by internal interruptions. Notice that your thoughts jump to tell you another story about your surroundings. When that happens, notice those thoughts, and then immediately let them go.
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  2. 2
    Make arrangements with your living mates regarding your study time.
    They can be your spouses, kids, parents, or roommates.
    The rules have to be clearly set and followed. Written agreements are even better to make sure they work well. Others are more explicit. If a student always wears his red fedora hat every time he wants to study, then whenever his family sees his hat, they can respect his wishes and allow him to get things done.
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  3. 3
    Learn to say no.
    This is the best time saver anyone can ever learn. Sometimes, trying to please everyone will destroy your study time and habits in the end. Do this politely though, and explain that you need to do this now and can't afford to put it off until later. Sooner or later they'll understand.
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Tips and Warnings: How NOT to get Stuck

  • Ask yourself what is that one task that can be accomplished to move toward your goal. This is a great technique that may be used in big, imposing jobs. Choose one small accomplishment - one you can complete in five minutes - then go on and do it. The satisfaction you'll feel in getting one thing done spurs you on to get another thing done. After a while this huge task becomes smaller and more manageable.
  • Ask yourself if you're being too hard on yourself. If you're starting to get frustrated with a reading assignment, noticing that your attention span is getting shorter, or are failing on problems that are due tomorrow, take a minute to listen to the message you are relaying to yourself. Are you scolding yourself harshly? Lighten up. Let yourself feel a little foolish and get on with it. Don't add to your problem by berating yourself.
  • Ask yourself how you just wasted time. Notice how time passes and you haven't accomplished anything. Take a minute to review your actions and note specific ways you have wasted time. Do not blame yourself, but increase your skill. This means getting the right information about how to use your time better tomorrow.
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Hopefully, these helpful tips will get you back on track and help you manage your time as a student. Remember that time is your most valuable resource. Once it's gone, you can never have it back, so use it wisely.

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Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Alma, Lynn, Nerissa Avisado

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