Here are some quick and easy time management tips for students. These tips will help them to maximize their time and feel stress-free.
Everyone has the same number of hours in the day… for a student, it never really seems like there’s enough time to do the things they want to do, let alone the things they have to do, right?
Between studying for exams, enrolling in new classes, reading books, writing papers, and making time for school hours, there are a lot of tasks to complete as a student. If you can teach your teen to make an effort to master some or all of these effective time management skills, they are one step closer to being able to feel the benefits of what proper time management can do for them and establishing best practices for studying.
Here are our top time management tips for students.
1. Define and Prioritize Tasks
Encourage them to begin by simply writing down their tasks on a piece of paper. This list should include their tasks and also their deadlines so that they can organize them in order of priority. Even if the list seems long and overwhelming at first, encourage them to group tasks of the same nature together (i.e. reading, homework, shopping, house chores, etc.) and prioritize them in order of what needs to get done first.
2. Break Up Big Tasks
When you were a student, you know that if your professor told you to write a 20-page research report, you may feel overwhelmed. Instead, if your professor said that you have to write a one-page paper, you’d likely be feeling breezy about getting it done. So, why not teach your teen to take that approach with all their tasks?
With big tasks, they should write down a deadline and work backwards to figure out how many smaller pieces they can divide it into to get it done by the due date. This is a really important time management skill for students. For example, if they have a book to read, they should note how many chapters there are and when the reading assignment is due. Then count the numbers of days they have before then and divide it by the number of chapters to see how much they have to get done on a daily basis to meet the deadline.
3. Use a Checklist
It’s easy to forget things with all the distractions of school, work, and life. By writing things down and checking them off, they’re ensuring nothing gets forgotten in the mix.
Checklists are also great psychological tools to give them quick hits of happiness when they put that check in the box.
4. Create Rewards
There’s no doubt that celebrations are fun. Whether big or small, being able to positively reinforce the work they do will help them establish a routine and incentive to keep powering through.
They can choose rewards that are monetary, activity or time-based.
If they want to buy a new video game , encourage them to throw a dollar in the jar every time they complete a task. When they’ve worked their way up to the video game, then they can go to get it. Or, if they can give themselves 15 minute breaks to play video games, work for 45 minutes with a timer and then when they hear the buzz, play for 15 minutes as a reward.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals makes all the difference, it makes more sense to set realistic and smaller goals so that they can pass those hurdles and gain momentum to accomplish bigger goals.
Slow progress is better than no progress, and by being able to complete the small steps, they’re making collective moves to accomplish their long-term goals.
6. Wake Up Early
Students should cultivate the habit of waking up early. By getting out of bed early, they’re setting up their day to maximize their time.
Waking up early ensures that they rush less, and in turn, stress less. Since the body and mind are getting up from a fresh night’s sleep, it’s the best time to get all their complex thinking tasks out of the way so that they can be productive and set the tone for their day.
7. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are everywhere, especially the digital kinds. A single ping from your teen’s cell phone is enough to send them down a rabbit hole on social media
Instruct your teenager to leave their phone in a different room and create a specific location from where they will just work. Although it may be hard for them to part with their phones, many people share the benefits of keeping it in a different room and just doing the tasks they want to get done, uninterrupted and entirely focused.
8. One Task at a Time
Neuroscience research has shown that multitasking is a myth. The brain performs one function at a time, and while it may seem like you’re doing two things at once, there’s still a start/stop process happening. All that switching back and forth is more exhausting than staying focused and moving to the next task upon completion of the first.
For better time management, your teenager should focus on one task at a time before switching to the next one. They can even time themselves and compare how much more they can get actually finished when compared to taking the “multitasking” approach.
9. Get Some Rest
Did you know sleep actually helps increase productivity?
When your teen feels tired, their brain has minimized function as if they’re impaired by alcohol. It’s important to find out how many hours of sleep your body needs to function properly, but aim for a minimum of seven hours per night, if it’s possible.
Setting up good habits for effective time management with your child doesn’t happen overnight. By taking practical steps and setting realistic goals, they can learn to adopt these time management skills into their study routine.