When you’re studying full time, particularly when you might be also juggling work and family commitments, it can be a real challenge to find time to fit everything in. Plus, “ having a life” outside of your study to focus on doing the things you really love, that feed you creatively, or just time to “ be” is also critical. We often say “ there’s not enough hours in the day.” But really, time is an illusion. This is a topic that has been hotly debated amongst scientists. It’s one on which many cultures around the world have very different views and one on which countless of blogs, articles and authors have written. What is certain however is that time is passing. Already the moments you have spent reading this article are past and you will never get them back. We also know that your time at university and indeed your time on this planet is finite, so it is important to use it well. But how? How do we stop the endless and relentless jump from one thing to another and still take time to smell the frangipanis? Here’s some tips that might just help..
Procrastination is a time suck. Try and develop a strategy for minimising distractions. Consider where you study. What places are you most productive? Consider also what works for you –are you more productive studying alone or in a group? If need be physically remove distractions – lock yourself away, turn off social media and other devices and just focus.
Developing a schedule for how you will spend your time can help keep you focused and on track. It can also help minimise the lure of procrastinations. Do make sure you are flexible but realistic with your schedules and remember that sometimes things might take longer than expected, so allow time for that in your schedule
Prioritise your time
Each day, focus on the most important tasks first. Leaving important assignments until the last minute can affect your grades and the overall quality of your work. Working out what is important in order of priority and tackling those each day will help avoid this, while leaving enough time to get done what you need each day.
Diversify your time
Mix up your time, don’t spend all of it doing just one thing. Balancing your time with a range of non- study activities such as exercise, sleep, mediation or just hanging out with friends and family will make you more productive and focused when you do sit down to study and learn.
Buffer your time
Create breaks in between time . Go for a walk , meditate or just spend time looking at the sky, be mindful of where you are and what you are doing. This will help clear your head, and focus on the next task, almost like a mental palate cleanser.
Take one step at a time
Don’t get overwhelmed by a massive to do list. Remember that no amount of worry or thought will make it shorter. The only thing that will shorten the list is working to complete it. Breathe, focus on one task at a time and you will get through.
As philosopher Theophrastus once said “ Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend” . So make sure you spend it well.