Study Skills/Managing Your Time
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Managing your time effectively is an important part of studying. One of the important things in time management is to do whatever works for you. One common mistake is to try to create an overly restrictive schedule which doesn't work, and then feel very guilty that it doesn't work. Telling yourself that scheduling just doesn't work for you is another common mistake.
The following list will guide you through time management.
- Schedule - Have a regular study time and place each day - This helps put you in study mode. It's what Pavlov did with his dogs. ("Good doggy. Now study! Study...").
- Prioritize - Make a list of what you have to do and list it in order of importance. Schedule the important stuff first.
- Plan your sessions - Do the difficult stuff first. That way, by the time you can barely add 1 to 1, that's all you have left to do.
- Prepare - Get everything you'll need together BEFORE you start studying.
- Take breaks - Don't study longer than 50 minutes at a stretch. Use the other ten for a run around the block, or eat a snack. Hmm... Maybe run around the block AFTER the snack. Taking a 5-minute hot shower is another excellent solution.
- Avoid getting stuck - If you can't figure something out, skip it, and get help later. Skipping everything is not allowed.
- Divide and conquer - Break your projects up into smaller bits, and complete those bits one by one.
- Set Milestones - Set yourself some milestones. You can also set rewards for reaching those milestones.
- Reward yourself - The reward can be small, like treating yourself to some ice cream, or larger, like buying that new outfit you've had your eye on. Rewards also don't have to cost money, like going to play some basketball with some friends at the park. Enjoy yourself when you pass a milestone, stick to your reward plans to make them more worth reaching.
- Use your time wisely - Use the days for tough activities like studying, and evenings for easier stuff like reviewing. On second thought, better schedule the latter during the day as well.
- Review regularly - We have said this before. It's important. Better read it again.
- Say "No!" to distractions - No matter how attractive they are unless, of course, it's on the schedule. ("Proclaiming my everlasting love: Tuesday 16:25 to 16:30")