Most of us are enjoying our Easter break now. But for those who have exams coming up, this post is for you! I have my exams in 3 weeks’ time and personally I have been using almost all of these tips and advice and I hope these will be as helpful to you as it were to me:
- Make a master schedule: I know this is pretty obvious, but I believe many neglect the power of scheduling. This will help you prioritize projects and provide a structure to help keep you on track to meet due dates. Use a different colour for each subject so you can follow the schedule quickly and easily. Creating a project plan can also help avoid last-minute panic. An overwhelming amount of work is a common cause of procrastination, which can lead to poor time management. Help yourself by breaking down the assignments into smaller chunks, each with its own separate due dates. This will encourage you to plan ahead and start working on assignments earlier.
- One thing at a time: It might seem like more is being accomplished with multitasking, but splitting attention between more than one task isn’t an effective way to learn. I think working on one task at a time, giving it your full attention. I believe focusing on one task will help me complete it more efficiently and effectively.
- Avoiding distractions: One way to avoid procrastination is to think about the different places you have been when studying – where were you the most focused? Where were you most distracted? Is there anything you can do to make studying actually somewhat enjoyable? Remember, what works for one person might not necessarily work for you. For some, studying with friends can limit their productivity. But for others, studying in groups can help to increase motivation and avoid procrastination.
- Take regular breaks: This may seem counter-intuitive but taking regular breaks away from your computer or textbooks is really important for meeting those deadlines. Studying requires a significant amount of intellectual and creative effort, and the brain needs periods of rest to consolidate what it has already learned, and to come up with new ideas. Just make sure to keep your breaks brief, and regular – tying them to a specific task, like making a cup of tea or going for a quick walk is an excellent way of to achieve this. When paired with set periods of time for work – 45 minutes or so – regular breaks of 5-10 minutes can really improve your concentration levels and help you engage in far better time management overall.
- Look after your health! : The foundation for a strong work ethic and effective time management, is your health. Getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and drinking enough water are all crucial to improving your concentration, and reducing your cravings for instant gratification – cravings that will tempt you away from your desk, and prevent you from planning your day effectively. If you don’t look after yourself, keeping on top of deadlines will be that bit harder; something that will cause undue stress and will have a negative impact upon your mental health. This vicious cycle – of stress, leading to procrastination, leading to more stress – is something you need to avoid at all costs. So go to bed early, eat your greens, and swap that coffee for a glass of water.