As a provider of academic transcription services, we offer accurate and prompt audio/video to text documentation solutions to help students manage their research workload and prioritize their time. In fact, students often describe their greatest challenge as not having enough time. Along with critical thinking and determination, time management is one of the most important skills required to succeed in college.
As a recent report in The Wichitan points out, college is more about than just going to class – it helps you learn to balance coursework with activities to reduce stress and stay healthy. Being part of an organization requires a certain level of discipline, but it also teaches time-management skills, says Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Dr Keith Lamb, Wichita Falls, TX.
Here are some valuable time management tips for students:
- List your goals: The most effective way to complete your work is to make a list of your tasks and goals. Write down all the things you need to do – assignments, lectures, projects, worksheets, study time, exercise, errands, and home commitments. Review the list every day, prioritize your tasks, and plan a schedule to meet them. This will go a long way in helping to meet deadlines.
- Make a calendar: Using a calendar or planner is the best way to stay organized. It will help you schedule your tasks and keep track of them. A calendar allows you to visualize your commitments so that you can allocate your time efficiently. You can add to your calendar your class schedule, work schedule, meetings, etc. for the whole semester. Then schedule time each week of the semester to complete your studies. Know the steps needed to complete your project, and then plan so that you can get the work done on time. Make sure you leave time to time to rest and recharge. Online calendars are a great option as they can be shared across the devices you use like your computer, tablet, and smartphone.
- Get organized: Organize your notes by keeping reading notes and lecture notes separately. Put each unit of study into different folders. For quick revision, make summaries of your notes. There are many productivity apps available to organize projects. For instance, Trello allows you to organize any projects you’re working on through boards. Tasks can be organized into separate lists such as ‘to do’, ‘ongoing’, and ‘completed’.
- Prioritize: Good time management is all about prioritization. Determine your values, goals, responsibilities and impact of a particular activity and separate the important from the urgent. Then develop a plan with focus on your priorities. Focus on urgent things and go on to the rest later.
- Know your limits: This is especially important when deciding how many units to take. A recent report in the Orion advises students to think carefully before taking more units than the average 12 to 15 credits a semester. Cramming in too many units is not advisable unless you can handle it as assignments will pile up and lead to a time crunch.
- Don’t procrastinate: Tempting as it is, don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Remember that procrastination is the thief of time. Stick to your schedule and try to work on getting things done in advance. This will give you more free time and help avoid stress.
- Minimize distractions: A study from California State University, Dominguez Hills found that, on average, students get sidetracked two minutes into their work. You need to manage internal and external distractions so that you can focus on your studies. Minimize or turn off phone distractions like notifications when you’re preparing for a test. Block or hide time-wasting websites and apps. A vital aspect of time management is learning to say No. Say no to things that are not in sync with your priorities.
- Make the most of the time you are most productive: Determine the time of day when you are most productive, that is, whether you are a morning person or a night owl. You can focus better if you establish a routine by studying at the same time every day. Take short breaks and reward yourself when achieve your goals.
- Simplify tedious tasks: Simplify tedious, time-consuming tasks. For instance, mastering the use of digital tools such as keyboard shortcuts, macros, etc., can save time with your computer. Digital transcription services are a great option to save time on transcribing focus groups, lectures, meetings, notes and more. Experienced outsourcing companies provide affordable transcription for a wide variety of subjects.
- Get proper sleep: Many studies have linked sleep to better academic performance. If you stayed up at night, try to take a short nap during the day. According to Sleep-Science, a 20-minute snooze can enhance motor skills and attention, while an hour to 90 minutes of napping can help make new connections in the brain and help in solving creative problems.
These tips can help you manage your time more effectively. However, no matter how good your time management plan is, you can accomplish your goals only if you stick to it. So track your progress by assessing the productive use of time, as this is the ultimate goal of time management.