When it comes to the academic success of students in both high school and college, learning to manage one’s time is a must. Good time management can help students of all ages to improve how they study. For many students studying is a difficult endeavor that is plagued by procrastination, interruptions, and a general lack of free time. This can negatively affect grades and be a source of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Creating a study schedule is a time management method that can reduce a student’s level of stress by teaching them how to set aside the necessary amount of time for studying, and also how to use that time wisely.
Setting up a study schedule
The first step of setting up a study schedule is choosing a calendar or program to arrange the schedule on. Whatever a person chooses to use, it should be something that they can easily refer to and that has enough space to document daily study requirements for at least a semester. Once a calendar is in hand, the student should markdown or enter all of the dates that are set by the college or high schools, such as final examination dates or class times. If the student participates in a sport, dates, and times of each game and practice session should also be documented. After the athletic and fixed academic hours and activities have been entered on the calendar, it is time to add one’s study time. Ideally, students should allow two hours of study for every one hour spent in class. Assignments and projects should be prioritized and scheduled accordingly based on when they are due and the level of importance.
8 tips of getting an effective schedule
- Place the calendar or printed schedule in a visible location so that it is easy to see and follow.
- When writing dates on a physical calendar, use a pencil so that it is easy to make changes if needed.
- Don’t create a schedule that is overly rigid or that isn’t flexible enough to accommodate emergencies or conflicts that may arise.
- Schedules should be created so that the study times are consistent each day, which will help create positive study habits.
- Don’t forsake well-balanced meals for study time. Poor eating habits can lead to fatigue, an inability to concentrate, and consequently less effective study time.
- Schedule study time in a location that has minimal distractions or interruptions.
- Study one course at a time for no more than two hours.
- Color-coded schedules are often easier to see and follow.
Create your schedule – and stick with it
Sticking with a study schedule is just as important as creating one. No one creates a schedule with the intent to ignore it, but unfortunately, it can be far too easy to do just that. If a schedule is too intense and offers little downtime, students may find it too difficult to adhere to, or they may become susceptible to easy distractions. For this reason, it is important to ensure that there is still time for social or physical activities in addition to study. These activities, such as time to exercise, should be included in the schedule to help create balance. Another way to stick to a study schedule is to reward oneself for successfully and consistently adhering to it. Rewards both big and small can be a great motivator
4 quick tips to gain better focus
- For every fifty to sixty minutes of study time, plan a ten to fifteen-minute break.
- When taking a break, get a snack for an energy boost, be active, and take a short walk, or listen to a few favorite songs.
- Rewards for sticking to a schedule can be given at the end of a study day or at the end of the semester. The reward for adhering to a schedule for a semester should be greater than the reward that one gives him or herself for sticking to it on a daily basis.
- Study time should be scheduled for a time when the student is the most focused and alert. For example, people who are more alert at night should schedule their study time in the evenings.