I want to graduate. I want to achieve great results at college. Who doesn’t? Students understand the way learning affects their entire future. But, we still want to get the most out of this period, and that means having fun. It means meeting new people. It means all-nighters not for studying, but for watching films, ordering pizza and having laughs.
How do I manage to deal with all that pressure?
I found the solution in proper organization. Being an effective student doesn’t mean you have to study all day and all night long. Success lies in time management. I’ll suggest 7 helpful tips that hopefully will help you find more time to study without sucking the fun away from college life.
1. Every Day Is a Great Day for Studying
When you start your college education, you may think that you have many years ahead and you may not feel the urge to hit the books as soon as you get them. However, it’s all about your individual development, gaining essential knowledge and experience, and investing time and efforts into growing your personality.
In fact, we keep studying throughout the whole life. And the sooner you realize that it’s a benefit, not a burden, the better it’ll be. There’s no need to bone at subjects and stay up late in order to learn the material all too well. Learn to manage your time. Study regularly, in smaller amounts, complete the most difficult assignments first, allocate some time daily to go through your notes and the relevant studying material while your impressions from the lectures are still fresh. Be curious about what you need to learn rather than seeing it as external obligations.
2. Create a Study Zone
Keep all studying materials on the desk, and keep them in order. This studying zone should be free of distractions. Snooze the phone, or better yet – leave it in the other room. Sit with your spine straight; the position itself will make you more focused and serious. Block all social networks with StayFocused, and you’ll be on your way to a successful studying session.
Think about your month, weeks, days, and hours. Use your Google Calendar and start with a monthly plan. Do you have any projects you have to complete? Plan when you’re going to work on the different stages.
Then, focus on your weekly schedule. Include the classes you need to take, as well as the time you spend on homework. You’ll notice you have free hours throughout the day and night. You can use them to relax and hang out with friends.
In addition to Google Calendar, you should try a few other tools to support you on the strategizing mission:
• iStudiez Pro – a planner app which gives you space for planning your homework assignments, tracking your schedule and grades, and managing different projects;
• StudyBlue – a platform that provides students with different study guides, notes, flashcards, and more;
• Instapaper – helps you to save all interesting articles you locate online. It will help you collect resources for your essays and research papers
• EssaysOnTime – Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to complete all assignments, you fail. In cases like those, the professionals of this service can help you deal with your writing projects.
• MindGenius – This mind-mapping tool will help turn ideas into actionable plans and tasks. You can use it to plan academic projects in all stages.
4. Understand Your Habits. Then, Shift Them
It’s easy to develop a bad habit, such as smoking or selfie-taking. But, it takes a bit of an effort to form a good habit, such as healthy eating, regular studying, and daily exercise. Watch yourself throughout the day. Are you spending too much time on Instagram or just surfing the net in search for something unimportant? Probably you are. This surely prevents you from staying focused on your tasks. Plan social media activities as a reward for completing 2-3 assignments.
When you learn not to give in to useless activities, you will definitely have more time for studying.
5. Exploit the Dead Time
• Listen to an audiobook on the bus.
• Go through your notes or read some of the studying material in between classes.
• Record the lectures and listen to them while taking a walk.
See? It’s easy to get the most out of your dead time.
6. Plan Your Errands
When students are planning their time, they are mostly focused on classes, assignments, studying, TV shows, and partying. What about cleaning, shopping, and cooking? I didn’t use to plan these things, but I realized they were wasting my time and energy. I was shopping in the morning, cooking in the afternoon, and cleaning whenever I felt like it. After each of these activities, my focus was disturbed.
• Shop once or twice a week. Make a grocery list and buy everything you need, so you won’t waste time on this errand every single day.
• Cook food for several days.
• Clean on Sundays, and keep everything in order throughout the rest of the week.
7. Plan Entertainment, Too
What kind of student would you be if you missed all chances to have fun? A lame one; that’s for sure. Still, you don’t have to go to the cinema or attend parties every single day. You don’t have to go out for the whole night, every single night. Plan your entertainment. Whenever you have some space in the schedule, use it to reconnect with your friends. Needless to say, you should party responsibly. Drinking nights can’t be fun when you don’t remember the experience at all.
Bonus Tip: Procrastination Is Your Enemy
You just got a new task and you don’t have to do it today? Do it, anyway. When you start completing a task within the first 24 hours after you get it, you’ll be much focused on it because the instructions and initial impressions are fresh.
These 7 (well, 8 to be precise) tips will help you become a more effective student, who studies smart, not hard. Do you have anything else to add? Do you have your own methods? Do share!
Author’s Bio: Sophia Anderson is an associate educator and a freelance writer. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet her at Facebook or LinkedIn.