Time management is a life-skill we all need, but it is not an easy one to acquire. Finding time to study can be especially difficult since the heavy workload requires long periods of maximum productivity, which can be hard to achieve. Although many people have daily study plans, those plans rarely end up even half realized. Here are our top seven time-management tips for adult learners.
1. Get to know yourself
We all work differently: some people are early birds, others like the night hours, some might need peace and quiet, while many work best sitting on a park bench with children running around. It’s all legitimate. You need to see when your concentration is strongest, and then use those time periods and those circumstances to plan your study sessions.
2. Have a calendar and a to-do list
Get a calendar and write in all major exam and assignment dates, so you have a good understanding of how much time you have. Then, make a plan to prepare yourself for each milestone. To-do lists with monthly and daily goals within the calendar might be the best option. It is better than using an hourly calendar because if you take more time than planned, your hourly calendar becomes invalid. Be realistic in how many goals you set per day.
3. Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro technique is a study technique developed to maximize your concentration. It uses 25 minute study periods with 5 minute rest periods in between. You should repeat the study-rest cycle four times before you take a long break, up to half an hour. You should repeat as many sessions as you need to get all the work done. It is important not to shift your attention to anything else during those short periods. This technique has shown great results.
4. Plan the night before
It is best to plan the night before for the next day so you wake up with a clear idea of what you need to do. It also allows your brain to unconsciously process how to do everything in the next 16 hours. Making a to-do list will take 30 minutes and you can do it while sitting on your bed with a hot cup of tea, it is more of a fun game than hard work.
5. Have a life
It is very important to have a life aside from studying and working. Don’t organize your days so that you don’t have a minute of free time for your friends and family, or even some time to be by yourself and relax. Otherwise you will soon grow miserable and unproductive. Having some free time will also provide you with time away from your laptop, phone, or books to rest your eyes, which will make it easier for you to focus later.
Reward yourself after every accomplished task. A reward can be a piece of chocolate, coffee with your best friend, or whatever you enjoy. This is a good way to keep yourself motivated, especially when feeling down. It will also help you keep a healthy balance between work and pleasure. However, be sure not to get distracted by the reward. Keep bigger rewards for when your daily tasks are done.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you are working on an assignment and you feel stuck, don’t waste time because you are embarrassed to ask for help. This is a natural part of learning. It is much more productive to have a friend or a tutor explain the difficult part, than to sit for hours staring at a piece of paper. Finally, this is why it’s very important not do all the assignments in the last minute—give yourself enough time for unpredictable troubles, even finding a private tutor if necessary, and an extra revision of the final draft.
This blog was written by Annabelle M. Annabelle is part of the content and community team at SmileTutor,
sharing valuable content to their own community and beyond.