It is common for most of us to complain that we do not have sufficient time even though a lot can be packed in 24 hours. While this is not uncommon regardless of our age or our occupations, time is definitely important for the student population.
During exam time, many of us end up simply drawing up schedules but almost never complying with them. Here are some ways by which students can manage time effectively:
Regardless of the amount of workload you have, it is necessary to prioritise and restrict plans based on the amount of time, energy and resources available. Striving to do more than what is reasonable is going to be counter-productive.
Put a structure in place
Often, we associate routine with tasks that need to be accomplished in school, or as part of our professional life. However, if we are to manage the 24 hours of the day effectively, we need to have a structure in place and that includes allocating some time for leisure and fun.
Set clear goals
The efficacy of any time management plan depends to a large extent on the nature of the goals which you are working towards. It is essential to keep these goals as specific as possible and within reasonable limits. They should not be idealistic.
Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking can prove to be counterproductive because you are actually switching between tasks. This may increase the frequency of mistakes and also your stress levels. You may even end up wasting more time and reducing your efficiency in the long run. In addition, if you are multi-tasking between work and your relationships, your output will lack quality.
Don’t forget extraneous factors
One of the most common mistakes people make when managing time is to neglect factors that may not be within their control and that is in all likelihood going to interfere with our plans.
It is, therefore, important to prepare everything in advance and take into account factors that may impede completion of the task at hand. For example, if one has to board a flight, one must set out early and also consider the time taken to reach the airport just in case there is a massive traffic jam or an emergency.
Time management In case you keep making plans but are unable to follow them (happens to a lot of us), it could be helpful to step back. Make a note of where your time is actually being spent. Try and review the plan accordingly. You may also want to review the expected time as well as the actual time taken to complete the task. You may also want to reward yourself in case the task at hand is completed on time or if you have achieved more than what was expected.
The author is director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare