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How to Effectively Manage Your Study Time

Jan 9, 2008
Your study time may feel as if it's taking over your social life, but if you can master some effective time management techniques -- and stick to them -- you'll find that despite only having a few discretionary hours a day, you'll have time to do everything you want to do.

The first thing you need to do is to assess the amount of home study time you need each week. Use the information from your teachers in each subject in order to build a weekly timetable of when homework is required. It could be that from your notes you need to have three nights a week with 2-3 hours homework, but the payoff is that you can take 2 evenings off from your studies. Alternatively, you may decide that doing an hour each evening is better as it leaves you at least some free time each day to do your own thing.

Get a wall chart and write on it each major assignment due date. In a different color, mark the same assignment on the calendar one week before it's due. This is the date by which time you ought to have at least a draft assignment complete. If it's not, you're going to have to scrap any plans of free time and put in the extra study time to get that assignment in on time.

In yet another color mark in anything such as soccer practice or dance class; these are fixed extra curricula activities that need to be accounted for when allocating your study time. If you have training every Saturday and a game every Sunday that means you probably won't be wanting to do much, if any study, so seeing your commitments on your wall charts helps you become focused on how best to use the study time available.

Make sure that before you leave each class you have all of the materials you need to complete the assignment, or you know where to get them from. You should also have carefully wrote down any questions, additional information and/or helpful tips that your teacher has given for the assignment. Once you get home you should be able to get straight on with the homework and get it done in half the time it would take if you have to run around looking for the assignment question and/or handouts you need to borrow from your classmates.

Having made your timetable, make sure you keep an eye on your wall calendar and keep it up-to-date with any new assignment/activity dates that need added as your school year progresses. It could be that one night you have nothing to do, and can free up another evening by doing the homework on the non-busy night.

You could also make use of your lunchtime break to go to the library and do some assignment work there - even if it's just half an hour of rough note taking it'll save you time later. Maybe going to the library isn't cool, but it's way cooler than having to spend an entire night at home studying when you could be hanging out with your friends.

Effective time management means choosing to spend what hours you have in a way that allows you to spend as much time as you can doing what you enjoy, so it's worth spending the effort setting the chart and timetable in place, ensuring you have everything you need for each assignment and sticking to the study time you set, because that's what will give you the maximum amount of non-study time.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at http://www.aimhightutors.com/blog
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