Design your time
Time is perhaps the most invaluable resource is today’s day and age. Once time is gone, it can never be replenished. Students and learners are under growing pressure. It is critical that they manage time judiciously, in order to perform, and rest, optimally. A lot of students do not THINK about their time. They do not MANAGE their time. Rather, they go along with what needs to be done, by default. There are numerous advantages to Designing one’s time to best suit one’s academic, co-curricular and leisure requirements. Here are some ways in which time can be designed to suit your individual needs.
A Process Of Elimination
There is a myriad of objects, activities, indulgences, desires that can draw students’ attention away from more important tasks. The dreaded ‘screen’, be it of a mobile phone or a television, is one obvious example. Inadvertently, we spend copious amounts of time and unknowingly expend vital energy addicted to social media sites, gaming, and consuming often-times unnecessary content on the internet. It is essential therefore, not only to preserve time but also mental faculties, to minimize, if not entirely omit these harmful distractions. Switch off mobile phones, keep away from that soccer game on the telly. Students will find that with these simple steps, they will create surplus time they never realized was even there!
One At A Time
Personally, I find that performing a single specific task works much better for me than trying to multi-task. Its like going to a specialized restaurant that is exceptional at making a specific cuisine rather than dining at a multi-cuisine place that tends to compromise each of the many food-types it offers. If we place all our attention on one task, we will be able to perform it more efficiently, thereby creating more time to do the rest. Simple as that.
Planning Is Key
Using my own example again, I was always made fun of at school, and till today, am poked fun at, at home, for my penchant for pre-planning, making lists, scheduling tasks and activities. The truth however is that the same people who mock my habit of over-planning also confess that it is the ONE reason that EVERYTHING that needs to get done, GETS done. Every individual has different ways of preemptive planning. Some people use a calendar and clearly, in advance, mark out important upcoming events, dates, tasks and then work backwards and prepare for it. Others use Check-Lists where each detail of a particular task is meticulously penciled in. Others still, use a combination of scheduling through calendar and check-lists. I fall into this latter category. And it has helped me when I was a student, when I was a media professional, and even now as a writer and educator. Planning makes us use time effectively and saves us from unwanted surprises that eventually draw on time and effort.
Rest, The Rest Can Wait!
Students are prone to studying late into the night, waking up at unearthly hours to complete their courses, and then running off to that much-awaited soccer game. What they don’t sometimes account for is the constant drain on one’s physical and mental vitality that this kind of unruly routine brings with it. The more tiredness and fatigue we accumulate, the more inefficient we become, which catches up with us sooner than we realize, resulting in more time being taken to perform a task than it would, if the person were full of energy. This ripple effect leads to huge loss of time. Therefore, rest, because the rest can wait!
Like rest, it is vital to take a break and just relax. Do the things you love doing, that actively take you away from student-life (in terms of academic and non-academic but mandatory pursuits). It can be anything – a swim, meditation, spending time with family, going out for a meal, listing to music; that is entirely subjective and personal. But do it you must. It’s the only thing that introduces the concept of work-life balance, something that will become even more crucial as students graduate into professional life. It instils a sense of calm and makes one perform better when there is a work-related task at hand. Time Management should not be viewed as a burden, rather as a liberating habit that can significantly elevate a student’s quality of work, and more importantly, quality of life!
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.