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The Art of Time Management: 8 Time Management Tips and Tricks to Try

For many international students, the art of time management might seem as difficult to master as pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Well, not anymore! We’ve got 8 tips that will make you feel like a time management magician in no time.

Leverage technology

When it comes to mastering the art of time management, technology is your best friend. There are several apps and online tools that can prove incredibly useful in better using your time.

For example, The 30-30 Schedule (also known as the 30/30 app or the 30/30 timer app) is one of the most widely used time management apps. The ‘30/30 method’ is based on the theory that when you focus on a task for an uninterrupted period of 30 minutes, before taking a 30-minute break. This allows you to get more work done while also prioritising mental rejuvenation.

Marinara Timer, Forest and Flow are just a few more examples of the many time management apps available. Try a few and find out which one works best for you.

Set your priorities appropriately

Deciding how to prioritise your tasks can be tricky, especially when you’re balancing work, life and study. Simple planning tools can be very helpful, as they allow you to look at your commitments across all areas of life.

A semester planner is a great way to ensure that you are aware of your upcoming classes, assignments and deadlines, as well as other life commitments such as work and social plans. Being able to see everything all at once will make it easier to prioritise tasks and determine timelines. You can even get creative by using colours to classify things as high or low priorities.

Most education providers have resources like semester planners and weekly planners to help you keep on track. Alternatively, you can check out study planner templates on platforms like My Study Life.

Read more: The Secret Ingredient That Can Help You Ace Your Exams

Take a time management short course or webinar

Effective time management is a skill that many people need a little help building – and what better way than with the support of a time management coach? The most accessible way to learn from these masters is through a time management short course or a time management webinar.

There are plenty of time management short courses available online for a small fee. However, free courses are always a great option for a student budget. Check out A Mini Course on Time Management from Udemy to start.

Many education providers also offer short courses and webinars to students, so make sure you are taking advantage of all the support that your institution has to offer.

Learn when to say no

Staying on top of tasks means sometimes saying ‘no’ to other offers, such as parties with friends or overtime at work. Although it can sometimes feel difficult, being honest about your study load and setting appropriate boundaries will feel much better in the long run.

Break tasks down

If you’ve got a large project that’s overwhelming you, start by breaking the task down into more manageable chunks. Examples of mini-tasks could include completing a reading, drawing up a study plan or making a mind map to refine your ideas.

From there, plan one to two-hour study blocks, and decide exactly what you want to achieve within this period. It’s a great idea to formulate these objectives as SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realistic, and time-bound). Stay motivated by giving yourself small rewards when you meet your targets.

Read more: 6 Study Hacks for the Exam Period

Understand when you are most productive

Are you a morning person, a night owl, or somewhere in between? Everybody is different, so pay attention to your habits and establish when you are most productive. Once you do, you’ll be better able to master the art of time management.

Change up your environment

If sitting behind a desk isn’t working for you, try switching up your study environment! Treat yourself to a change of scenery by studying in a park, at the library or in a café. In no time, you’ll likely find that you’re feeling more creative and productive.

Read more: How to Create the Perfect Study Space

Make study dates

Studying with peers can help you to stay motivated and feel supported. Not to mention, being able to help one another understand the course content can improve your performance on exams.

Plus, if you are someone who struggles with procrastination, focus or motivation, committing to a study session with classmates can help hold you accountable.