How to Manage Your Time to Effectively Wade through a New College Year

You are in a never-ending battle with laziness, distraction, and lack of motivation. Modern novelties such as mobile phones, social networks, and other accessible online entertainments steal your time even more than before. Almost every student is constantly losing this fight and waste precious hours on something senseless but catchy.

After a few months of studying, we realize the importance of productivity. Hard-working people who allocate their time to each activity properly are always a step ahead of those who can’t do this. They receive better grades in college, feel less stress and can find any spare minute for their hobbies. So, emerges the question: is there an efficient solution to be more productive these days?

Fortunately, the way out exists, and even more than only one. We collected several life-hacks for better time-management and self-inspiration. Enjoy!

1. Adhere to the Plan or Why Schedules are Better than To-do Lists

Create a plan for one or two semesters at the beginning of the academic year. Clarify your goals which you would like to achieve during this period of time. Moreover, it is significant to designate the certain timeframe allotted for their accomplishment.

In turn, make up a schedule for each day before you go to bed. A classical schedule is preferable over a to-do list due to several reasons:

  • Students spend a lot of time for completing the first point from the list without taking into account the others.
  • As at the end of the day they usually finish only a few of them.
  • The schedule allocates the certain intervals for each task and even for breaks. It allows you managing all the points of a plan.

Don’t pretend you can do everything within a day or something beyond your skills quickly. Try to manage your schedule according to your current abilities and reckon for emergencies.

2. Check Pomodoro Method  and Other Apps for Time-Management

Put your phone to good use: download some helpful applications such as Pomodoro. This method was created long before its digital analog, in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. Nowadays, it is quite a popular technique among successful and passionate people.

The application divides your time into 30-minutes periods; each consists of 25 minutes of working called “pomodoro” and 5 minutes of rest. After completion of 4 pomodoros, you are allowed to take 15-20 minute break.

Pomodoro Method

At the first stages of mastering Pomodoro technique, students stumble upon impulses towards procrastination or switching the task from current to another one. It is a normal adaptation process: after passing through it, you will notice the changes in your work or study efficiency. Strict timing will not afford you to sit around.

However, if you found this method not very suitable for you, it is ok. You can try different applications considered as productivity boosters: Carrot, Cram, iTunes, Infinite Storm and many other free and paid programs which can help you with your intentions.

3. Morning Exercises and Evening Walks

The morning workout is a great way to start your day productively. Physical activity has a positive impact on brain: during the exercises and sports sessions, your brain produces certain hormones (for instance, endorphins) that improve your mood and make you happier. It also reduces symptoms of stress and depression enhancing your self-confidence and vitality.

Evening walks, in turn, normalize sleep and give you a burst of inspiration. Good sleep and motivation are the essentials of successful studying.

4. Put the Phone Away

If you are not going to use timers or applications like Pomodoro, turn your airplane mode on your mobile phone. Of course, you can use the internet during studying but close all tabs not related to your particular task. News and social media are your worst enemies, so it is better to avoid contact with this kind of information within a working day.

5. Clean Your Room

It may seem unreal, but there is a direct connection between messy room and procrastination. Every time you are surrounded by disorganized space, your mind is getting distracted by objects in disorder.

Furthermore, the messy room and the lack of motivation for cleaning create a harmful setting: “If I don’t clean my area in time, I can break the deadlines in college (university, workplace) too.”  The place where you live somehow describes you. In this case, it is not in a positive way.

The clean room, for its part, doesn't provide you with the details to get distracted by. Each thing is in its appropriate "workplace: this inspires you on being focused on what you have to do.

6. Organize the Separate Place for Studying

Some students are studying in their bed. Even though a few of them feel more comfortable in relaxing atmosphere, the majority can’t cope with a confusing feeling. This space is usually associated with sleeping or relaxation and almost never with hard work. Your brain automatically switches to “resting regime”, and you can’t help it. That is why it is recommended to work at the table.

7. Normalize Your Sleep

A lack of good sleep leads to quick exhaustion. Doing more to the disadvantage of the rest is harmful to both health and productivity in the long run. Sleep not less than 6-8 hours per day depending on your individual needs.

Another issue concerning sleep is it irregularity and shift to morning hours. Students prefer going to bed around 1-3am instead of finishing all the chores before the beginning of a new day. It has been already proved by scientists that falling asleep between 10pm and 12am is the healthiest habit ever. It is even possible to reduce sleep time after a while adhering to such a regime, and combining it with the healthy diet.

Practice and try to change your old life habits to the new one. But not all at once: start with 1-2 tips mentioned above gradually expanding this list of principles and become super productive during your college year.

Author: Patricia Jenkins

Patricia Jenkins is the senior writing advisor at FastEssay blog for international students that seek quick paper assistance. In her blog, Patricia shares useful tips on productivity, writing, research, references. Sometimes Patricia goes off topic by sharing her personal experience peppered with lively humor and healthy irony.

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