Getting Organized: Learning to Manage your Time Effectively

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As you move to a new grade, high school or college, the amount of work you need to do every year increases exponentially. If you find yourself constantly scrambling about at the last minute to study, complete assignments or slap together an overdue project, you’re not managing your time well.

Good time management impacts your grades and performance as well as your anxiety and stress levels. Learning good time management skills will mean that you have more than enough time to do every assignment and study for tests and exams. This will really give you a chance to apply yourself and you will see your grades soar while your stress level drops.

Work avoidance behavior

We all have them; things we do to distract ourselves and put off doing tasks we don’t want to do. If you are finding it hard to motivate yourself to start your homework, you may choose to speak to a friend, surf the net, get lost on social networking sites, make elaborate sandwiches, play games or tidy your desk. Time spent doing these activities is wasted; you can’t enjoy them because you know you should be doing your homework and you are just delaying the inevitable.

Start monitoring the time you spend doing stuff and you will see where all your spare time went. Instead, locate dedicated blocks of time to checking your email and social networking and stick to your schedule. You don’t need to check your phone/tablet/email every five minutes. Reduce your work avoidance behavior and, when you catch yourself doing something else to delay homework, try to refocus and get back to work.

Work in bite-sized chunks

When faced with tasks you really dislike, break them up into manageable sections. Do ten minutes of reading, read five pages, do half an hour of working on an assignment or 20 minutes of math homework. Work intensely for a short period of time and then go do something fun. When you break it up into these short, intense work periods, they are more manageable and you get everything done no time at all.

Be realistic

Set out a study schedule that is realistic. Don’t think you can cram a whole year’s worth of work into a day’s learning. Time how long it takes to read each page of the work you have to learn for exams so that you can leave yourself enough time to study properly. Start early and do a little each day rather than cramming it all in at the last minute.

Time management is an essential life skill for successful students, and successful businessmen and women. Learning to manage time effectively will make your life easier, less stressful and more fun. You will be amazed at how much your grades improve too! Ask your parents, tutors and teachers for help with your time management strategy.

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