By Katie Azevedo, M.Ed.
I know, I know. You have no time. Neither do I. Neither does anyone. So below are eight time-management tips for you. And for every student ever. Also, when you’re done, you definitely want to come back and learn about the real secret of time management.
Time management tips for students
When you’re done making your way through the list below, you want to check out these top 5 time management mistakes students make – are you making any of them?
1. Limit study session time.
Don’t study, do homework, or work on school stuff for more than 45 minutes straight without a short break. (Use the Pomodoro Technique!)
2. Start all assignments the day they’re assigned.
Every time you get an assignment that’s not due the very next day, always start it (even just a little) on the day it’s assigned. Do this, even if you just open a Google Doc, give it a title, and walk away!
3. Break down big assignments into 15-minute chunks.
Do one or two 15-minute chunks whenever you can. A “big” assignment is anything that you think will take longer than a few hours to complete.
4. Use small pockets of free time during the day.
Use random pockets of time throughout the day to take care of quick tasks, such as doing short assignments, cleaning up your notes from the day, making flashcards for an upcoming test, studying from your flashcards, etc. You can find small pockets of time in car rides, while waiting to be picked up, while waiting for dinner to be ready, while waiting in the doctor’s office, etc. Bring your work with you to any place that you think you’ll be waiting for a bit.
5. Avoid doing your homework at night.
This is the time when your brain is less sharp, so some tasks will take twice as long. (That stinks.) I know some of us get home from activities late and nighttime is the only time we think we have to get work done, but go back and read Tip 4. If you’re really a true night owl, these 10 night owl study tips are for you.
Are you a parent? Here’s my FREE downloadable 10-page Guide To Teaching Your Child Time Management Skills. It’s really free. Nothing spammy or weird.
6. Study for tests a little bit each day (15-20 minutes or so), every single day leading up to the test.
No cramming the night before!! Your brain remembers information way better when you study in frequent and short intervals. There’s a bunch of science behind this – trust me.
7. Put your phone away when you’re doing homework or studying.
Seriously, away. Not upside-down next to you. Put it awaaaaay. Just seeing it in front of you will trigger the “addiction” chemicals in your brain that will make you compulsively think about checking it. (This time management tip doesn’t make me sound cool, but I’m too old to care about being cool.)
8. Study according to your learning style.
If you use study techniques that don’t match your learning style, you’ll waste so much time reviewing the same information over and over again. To benefit from this final tip, it’s important to first know what your learning style is. Check out these explanations of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles to see what type you are.
Time management tips for students are similar to (but not the exact same as) time management tips for “other” people. Whether you’re a middle school, high school, college, or graduate student — or just a student of life, lol — the biggest tip of all for managing time is this: Determine exactly WHAT you have to do, figure out HOW MUCH time you really have to do it, and then … do it.
Also, while you’re here, I suggest you make sure you’re not falling for any of the top three time-wasting traps I see students make all the time.