Time management for students: strategies and tips to build your focus - Deepstash
Time management for students: strategies and tips to build your focus

Time management for students: strategies and tips to build your focus

Curated from: blog.rescuetime.com

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Being purposeful with your day

Being purposeful with your day

Time management is about taking control of the time you do have available and using it optimally for productivity while creating balance.

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How to plan your day

Much advice about time management is about creating a to-do list, reminding you what you want to do. However, it's more important to use a schedule, which tells you when you're going to do it.

  • Create "bookends" for each day. Consider your morning and evening routines, then "block" in time for your most important tasks. For example, a 2-hour writing-block every morning after breakfast.
  • Set aside time for your most important projects. The object is to be purposeful about what and when you're going to do something.
  • Schedule in breaks. A schedule has to be realistic. That means including time for breaks, food, exercise, social time, and other "non-school" tasks that keep you happy.

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Be aware of how you’re spending your time

To build a better time management system, you need to know what you currently spend your time on. You need to know where you're losing time to the wrong things.

To track your time, spend a few days writing a "time log" to track how you spend your day.

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Proper goals help you measure your progress

Goals work great to get you motivated to do your work, but they don't tell you how you're going to achieve your goals.

Ask yourself what you can do every day that will help you achieve your ultimate goal. If you need to write a 4,000 word essay by the end of the month, set a daily goal of writing 500 words. If you can make consistent progress, you'll hit your goal sooner.

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Break large projects into small, actionable tasks

Decide what the smallest, most doable next step is. Then list all the next steps with a deadline for each.

It's easy to procrastinate when a project feels overwhelming. Part of proper goal-setting is to be able to break larger goals down into daily tasks. Focus on making progress, not just on the end result.

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Counteract the Planning Fallacy

When you start to schedule your tasks, you may be too optimistic about how much you can get done. You may take on too much work or get stressed when tasks take longer than you expected.

To counteract the Planning Fallacy:

  • Work in a buffer into your schedule.
  • If the task is familiar, give yourself 1 - 1.5 times you think it will take.
  • If it is new, give yourself double the time you think it will take.

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Navigate your circadian rhythm

This means that you should do your most important work when you have the most energy and scheduling passive activities when you're more naturally low.

We all have moments in the day where we feel naturally more alert and energetic and other times where we lack energy. It is known as the Circadian Rhythm - a 24-hour internal clock that cycles between alertness and sleepiness. Every person's rhythm is slightly different, but the majority follow a similar pattern.

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Take breaks at the right time

When you start to feel this way, take a break.

  • Disconnect from what you're working on.
  • Give your eyes a break. After every 20-minutes of work, stare at something at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
  • Get outdoors if you can. The natural light and fresh air will give you energy.
  • Refuel with food high in protein to boost your energy.

The best way to maintain productivity is to take regular breaks. Our minds naturally crave breaks after every 90 minutes of intense work. Your body may signal it needs a break by becoming hungry, sleepy, fidgeting, or losing focus.

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Procrastination is inevitable, but it does not have to rule your day

To get over those initial feelings related to procrastination:

  • Follow the 5-minute rule. Tell yourself you're only going to do 5-minutes of work on a project. This is usually enough to get you motivated.
  • Block distracting websites when you start working or at specific times of the day, so you don't get side-tracked.

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Optimize your study time for Flow

When you have a crammed schedule, it's tempting to think you can multitask. But studies find that focusing on a single task can be 500% more productive.

If you find it hard to focus on just one thing:

  • Remove distractions, including your phone.
  • Start small and set a timer.
  • Take a break between each session.

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IDEAS CURATED BY

theodorexh

There is a difference between patience & procrastination.

Theodore H.'s ideas are part of this journey:

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