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6 Time management tips for students (and everyone else)

 

Have a vision. Be clear about the following three things: Who are you? Where are you? Where are you going?

Who are you?

What is your main motivation in pursuing university studies? Take a moment and consider this honestly. Are you just doing it because everyone else does and “you have to”? Are you studying because your parents expect you to? Are you clear as to which industry or field you want to work in and are you certain that a university degree is the best path to get you there?

This is your starting point. Be honest with yourself about whether you’re in school because you want to be, or because other people want you to be. Know why you are where you are. And don’t judge it.

Life is a path, and if at age 18 you don’t know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life, let me assure you: you’re not alone. And that’s okay. If you change your mind years down the line, you can always make changes and adjust. People make major career changes every day.

Where are you?

So the reality is this: you’ve made the decision (for whatever reason) to study a university degree. Think about what you’re interested in now. Is your degree in line with your long-term personal goals? Does it have to do with the things you value most in life?

Where are you going?

If you haven’t yet mapped out your goals, take the time to do so. You don’t need to think thirty years into the future. Write down whatever occurs to you, however big or small. Put them in chronological order, if you can, so you can see a path ahead of you. Can you see how your university degree fits into that plan? Your studies now are just one step on that path.

What does all this have to do with time management? If you don’t know who you are, where you are, and where you’re going, then you have no perspective. You won’t know how to prioritise, and how to get things done and when. You likely won’t take as much responsibility for your studies, since you’re not quite clear how they’ll be of use to you, except on an abstract level.

I’m going to repeat a few things here from my previous posts on time management, because sometimes we have to read the same things over again, in different words, before they sink in. Bear with me.

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10 MORE steps to improve time management and reduce stress

Thanks so much to the people at WordPress.com for choosing my previous post on this topic for Freshly Pressed! And a huge thanks to everyone who visited and left comments. I found a lot of great tips in there, and since I’m not sure whether everyone went through and read the comments, I wanted to share some here.

1. Listen to music or  nature sounds

This is an excellent suggestion, and one I often do! Having some kind of background music or white noise on headphones can help drown out distraction in your environment. Either load your background music onto your computer, and listen with headphones, or just use your iPod. Different people have different preferences: if songs you’re familiar with distract you, try listening to nature sounds, music without lyrics, or music in another language that you don’t understand.

Michael suggests Naturespace sounds. Check out their website. They look amazing. These or any other nature sounds are excellent distraction busters. And Rtcrita uses background music to reduce stress while working. When it’s time for a break, she’ll turn it up to add a little exercise and dance into her schedule. That’s another great stress reducer! It’s important to get moving during breaks.

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