Managing Your Study Time
If you’re making the effort to get into the perfect college, you may be one of the many students who just can’t seem to study enough.
But, believe it or not, it’s possible to allocate too much time to studying. If you feel like you’re abandoning social life or extra curricular activities to hit the books, or just feel there’s not enough time in the day to study, you might want to consider better study time management. Study smarter… not longer!
Try these three tips:
1. Budget your time. Parkinson’s Law states that any task given unlimited time will probably never be finished. If you don’t set aside a specific amount of time for schoolwork, you might fall into the trap of feeling as if you’ve never done enough.
Instead, try to set yourself a fixed amount of time per evening. My suggestion is 85 minutes per day. Set an alarm for that time and when it rings, close your books and finish. After a few days you might be amazed at how your studying will become more efficient just because you’re unconsciously working towards that limit.
2. Plan a week ahead. If you don’t have a plan before you crack open the books, you won’t be efficient in your studying. If you sit down with mounds of essays, labs, upcoming tests and readings and no idea where to start, you’ll be distracted by everything you’re not doing while you try to do something. Furthermore, you might find yourself spending so much time on one subject you don’t leave enough time for another.
Instead of sitting down to a pile of notes and textbooks, plan your week. Using your work due dates as guides, figure out what you want to do on Monday, Tuesday, and so on, and stick to it as closely as possible. And what you’re not planning on doing tonight, get it off your desk! Concentrate on one task at a time to do it right and absorb the information.
3. Don’t burn the midnight oil. If you usually go to sleep at 11, staying up until 3 isn’t going to help, and in fact, it’ll probably hurt. Doing work while you’re tired will just result in poor work. Studying while you’re tired will almost certainly result in your remembering nothing. Worse, losing sleep will reduce your energy, attentiveness, and performance in class.
Instead of cramming to the wee hours of the morning when exam time comes around, why not find other times to study? Bus and train rides, quiet time, even skimming a textbook while eating, all allow you to absorb information and come up with ideas when your brain is alert, and leave you with time to get a good night’s sleep.
Your brain uses more energy than any other organ in your body. To get into the college you’ve always dreamed of you need to keep your brain from getting worn out!