BY DAVID GUTIERREZ
For most people college is the first time they acquire more or less complete freedom to do what they like with their time. Until then you live under control of your parents, teachers, and curriculum. In college, you are given not definite tasks but more of overarching goals and are allowed to pursue them as you see fit. Unfortunately, few of us learn any semblance of time management in high school, and given freedom tend to turn our lives into interchanging periods of slacking off and panicky sprints in an attempt to cram a term’s worth of textbooks in one night. Here we will cover the worst mistakes students do about controlling their time.
1. They Don’t Have a Plan
Most students don’t have a plan beyond a list of assignments and deadlines by which they are supposed to be done. Many don’t even bother about this. Living in such a fashion simply calls for disaster: you will suddenly discover that you have three large assignments due tomorrow, that you’ve missed time to consult your tutor about something and run into all kinds of other problems.
You should always know what you are going to do today when the day starts. Ideally, you should have a good picture of your activities for a week or two ahead.
2. They Pull All-Nighters before Exams
Science proves it time and again: pulling an all-nighter before a test or an exam is worse than useless. You will remember little of what you’ve tried to memorize, and your brain will work the next day sluggishly to boot. It is because of how our memory works: in order to hammer something into your grey cells and consistently find it to be still there when you look for it, you have to use spaced repetition: i.e., revising this information after gradually growing intervals. It may take a little organizing in the course of a semester and occupy more of your time, but it will ensure that you remember things when the test comes – and probably even after a couple of years. In other words, common sense plus healthy sleep beats all-nighters every time.
3. Their Study Area Is a Mess
What does it have to do with time management? A lot, as it turns out. Having to study in a chaotic environment where you don’t know where everything is you not only waste time looking for what you need. You are easily distracted by the stuff that gets into your sight. You feel subconsciously reluctant to start studying because your environment is full of things that call for your attention.
Ideally, you shouldn’t have anything but the current object of your studies in front of you – this ensures maximum focus.
4. They Don’t Know Their Most Productive Time
Each person is most and least productive during different periods of the day. Moreover, one can be more or less productive at different things during different times of day – what these periods are for you can only be discovered by trial and error. Try switching your schedule about – you may find that, for example, if you put your study hours before noon you manage to do twice as much in the same amount of time than when you do this work in the evening.
5. They Don’t Set Priorities
We are not talking just about giving preference to studies over partying. 80 percent of results are achieved by 20 percent of effort. If you don’t have enough time to deal with your entire workload, concentrate your effort on what is really important and don’t try to do everything.
Avoid these blunders, and you find your college life much less stressful and more enjoyable.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.