Time Management

I know that one of the most common pieces of advice that you hear for studying is to “manage your time.”  Many students, don’t do this because they don’t know how to do it effectively. You never get back time wasted; that’s why I’m placing so much emphasis on this. Big credit to Cal Newport, author of “How to Become a Straight-A Student”, for introducing us to the best method that I found for managing my time for studying. Here it is straight from his words:

The Straight-A Method – A guide for effective time management

The Straight-A Method is supported by four pillars: capture, control, plan, and evolve.

Each pillar is associated with a high-level goal you should strive to achieve as a student. Here’s the promise: If you can satisfy these four goals — regardless of what specific strategies or systems you use — you will do better in your courses.

1) Capture

2) Plan

3) Control

4) Evolve

1) Capture:

You must obtain, organize, and regularly review all of your obligations as a student. This includes both the academic (e.g. test dates. hand-ins and assignment dates etc.) and the administrative. Have a file or folder for each subject which contains all the information that you have received from your school. Taking stock of everything that’s on your plate can be scary, but it’s also crucial for maintaining control over your life. It provides the foundation needed to build original plans, and it eliminates the toxic stress generated by disorganization.

2) Plan:

Because you are a student, many of the tasks you face are time sensitive. Remember: it’s not enough to just say you’ll work on these tasks, you must block out the specific hours in which you will work. This keeps your schedule realistic. Something about spending some alone time, making a plan, and getting some significant work done (but not too much), really helps you calm down and takes you to a place where you can handle a new, intense week.

3) Control

Control your schedule.

In the short-term: plan each day, what hours you will dedicate to work and what you will accomplish in these hours.

In the long-term: break up large projects into smaller pieces and identify on what days you will work on each. Do not allow any work to exist outside of a carefully considered schedule.

There are two types of students. Those who are battered around by their workload, always jumping from one looming deadline to the next, and those who manhandle their work into smart schedules that allow them to get things done on their terms. For the sake of your sanity, strive to be one of the latter.

4) Evolve

Exam prep doesn’t have to be this hard. If you’re willing to spend a few more minutes planning, and if you can put aside that childish impulse to procrastinate on absolutely everything until the last minute, you can eliminate most of this wasted time from your prep schedule. Evolving is about allowing yourself to change and accept the 3 other steps mentioned above as part of your new system, rather than having yourself resist this change at every step.

This has been an excerpt adapted from the book Presto Study Hacks. For more amazing content and study guides produced by Presto click the button below.

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By: Shivad Singh