Are you the type of student who puts the pro in procrastination? Like you’d probably be an Olympic athlete if Netflix marathons and web surfing were sports. It’s a tough habit to break, but don’t worry. We’ve got some time management hacks for your next major study day.
Do the most difficult task first. Leave all the easier ones for later.
Is there a task you just keep putting off? Maybe you just hate the thought of doing it, or maybe it’s just too hard to think of. Thinking about not doing it is exactly what’s eating up all your time! Get the worst thing over with. You’ll breeze through the easier tasks, no problem.
Write down to-do lists & schedules instead of using your phone.
Create and keep a physical to-do list or study schedule next to you. It saves time spent switching to your Notes or Calendar app. Make the most out of a planner or get into bullet journaling! It’s easier to visualize and break down your tasks when you create a list on paper than on a laptop or phone. You’ll feel more productive and rewarded, too, after ticking off things you’ve done.
Use the pomodoro technique for long hours at a desk
This time management technique uses a timer to break down long working or study hours into active time and break time. You’re training your brain to work in focus spurts, and rewarding it with structured break times.
It’s a simple method. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a task until the alarm rings. This is one pomodoro. Then, go on a 5-minute break. Repeat. After 4 pomodoros, take a longer break—say, 15 to 30 minutes. Start again.
Never multitask! Focus on a single task at a time
Think of the last time your phone or computer lagged when you were shifting between apps. It’s the same thing with your brain. Studies show that it takes more energy, time, and brainpower to multitask. You end up moving slower and taking up more time because you’re juggling several tasks at once.
Minimize distractions with an app or browser extension
Keep those notifications and social media binges at bay. Get the Forest app, which is also available as a Google Chrome extension. When you want to stay focused, you plant a tree on the app. So long as you’re on the app or extension, the tree grows. If you leave the app, the tree dies. Longer use of the app allows you to plant a tree in real life as well!
Use your breaks to disconnect and take care of yourself
Do some stretches or jumping jacks. Walk around your room for a bit. Grab a snack. Drink a whole glass of water. Wash your face to re-energize. You might end up overspending your break online. So step away from your computer. Put your phone screen-side down. Maybe try a one-minute meditation exercise to regain focus!
Congratulate and treat yourself after a long day of hard work and studying. You earned it! You don’t have to dread days like these if you’ve got the right approach.