8 Time Management Hacks Every Busy Student Needs To Know

New year, new you – right? Right! If you’ve made a promise to yourself to be a more productive student or you simply want to work harder this year at uni, you’ve come to the right place....

Female student

It’s the first week back, and whether you’re already feeling the pressure or you just wanna be extra prepared for the looming deadlines ahead, we know how you can manage your time to make it all a bit less daunting.

1. Just Say No!

When you’re stretched to your limits, you’re not very effective at any of the many things you’re trying to accomplish, including good grades. Determine your priorities and say no to everything that doesn’t fit within them. You don’t even have to give an excuse, but if you feel you must, thank them for thinking of you, and say you’re sorry you won’t be able to participate. Gotcha!

2. Have a plan

They say the early bird gets the worm. We say the early bird gets to plan their day (not nearly as catchy). Wake up 20 minutes earlier than you normally would and map out your day. You’re not making yourself any “less busy”, but you’re mentally preparing for what lies ahead. This alone makes the day much easier to manage as it comes around. We like to have our fave ‘feel good’ tune as our alarm sound rather than the dreaded alarm tone, basically it helps us get out of the leaba that little bit earlier. #winning

3.  Read your course calendar

Sometimes the best advice is among the simplest: One of the first and most important steps in achieving successful time management in college is to read your course calendars with a fine tooth comb. Yes it’s fairly straightforward, but if you know due dates for specific assignments, papers and exams, you’ll be able to spread out the load.  A course calendar is your best friend. Remember, due on Monday doesn’t mean ‘do on Monday’.

2. Exercise to clear your head in between study sessions

Believe it or not, exercise works in the same way sleep does. It can focus your state of mind, helping you to clear your head in between study sessions. If you’re new to exercise, aim to fit in a 10 minute run here and there, steadily increasing the amount you do as you go on.

4.  Stay positive

Yes we are aware that studying is an activity that pushes us beyond our comfort zone. This can be tres frustrating, so we reckon it’s in your best interests to stay positive and remember why earning your degree is worth all the hard work. It’ll push you to work that little bit harder – promise! Letting stress get the better of you? Check out our meditation masterclass, that will calm you down, STAT.

5. Study with friends

You may find it works well for you to have a classmate to bounce questions and ideas off. This can be tricky because sometimes people study in different ways that aren’t compatible with your study habits; also, sometimes studying with friends can turn into a hangout session. To keep from slipping into pure socialising, try setting a weekly study session that’s followed by a homework-free dinner. This will help you balance your time spent working with time to relax with friends.

6. Plan some down time 

You are not a robot! Schedule some time to relax so you can rest and refresh your mind and body. We’re not talking about hitting up the college bar with your mates, we’re suggesting going for a walk to clear your head or checking out a local yoga class, even cleaning your college pad can have numerous benefits. Find out how you enjoy your down time best, this will enable you to study more effectively and see results.

7. Create a life schedule  

Whether it’s a cool new app, a timetable or a calendar on your phone, find an organising tool that works well for you and add your list of priorities to it. Also, think about when you are most alert, so that you can plan your study periods around these times. There’s no point planning to tackle that stressy assignment in the mid-morning, if you always feel like you need a nap before it hits noon.

8. Get appy

Still struggling? Turn to tech and improve your study with apps that are specially designed to help you manage your time. Whether it’s making notes more efficiently, scheduling your work-flow better or making sure you stick to your assignment deadlines. We love Focus Booster, which helps you break down your schedule into manageable blocks, and Evernote, where you can save all your notes, thoughts, articles and ideas in one place.

By Jennifer Conway.