Student time management is an enormous part of a great study skills approach. If you have no strategy for managing time as a student, you’re unlikely to have a great strategy for managing time later in life. And it’s just about as important a study skill as there is.
Thus we’re bringing you a short blog mini-series on student time management. We’ll bring you some helpful tips that can provide a solid foundation as you work to develop your own personal student time management strategy.
But before we get into managing time, it’s important to note that this is really a misnomer.
Misnomer = SAT Vocab Word meaning “an error in naming a person or thing”
You can’t manage time. It keeps moving whether you like it or not. And it keeps a pretty steady pace – about a minute per minute.
In fact, it’s – so far as I can tell – the one resource you have but you can’t ever get any more of. You just continue to lose it, one second at a time.
And that’s why student time management is so important (even if perhaps misnamed). What we’re really talking about when we discuss student time management is self management, or task management, or focus management, or to-do list management. For students, it is often “assignment management.”
We’ll get into more specific definitions of time management for students in an upcoming post. For now, though, we’ll assume we all have a similar goal – getting more done in limited time.
That said, there are 3 reasons the top 5% of students have a time management strategy
Our percentage could be off here. We don’t have surveys to support us. The numbers could be different than that. It’s unlikely, but it could be.
In our experience we’ve seen that almost without fail, the top 5% of students at a particular school will have some sort of strategy for student time management. Most of the rest will have nothing.
These will vary in effectiveness – some are highly effective, and others rely on intelligence more than time management or study skills. But they are there. And that’s what’s most important – that you have a strategy.
Here are three reasons why having a student time management strategy sets the top 5% of students apart from their peers:
1. Student time management strategies help you study more efficiently
For us at StudyRight, this is an enormous issue. Efficiency is as important – if not more – than effectiveness.
Without an effective time management strategy, you tend to meander rather than get things done. At least I do.
When I just sit down to do homework or study for a test but I haven’t planned this session with my time management strategy, I – almost without fail – find myself studying less efficiently. When my time has been managed before I sit down, I tend to work much more efficiently.
2. Student time management strategies allow you to have more on your plate
This is huge. And it’s usually misunderstood.
You’ve probably seen the “super student.” These are the people who have all AP classes, four clubs, they play a sport, have mastered an instrument, and run an orphanage in their spare time.
It’s easy to look at the super student and say things like, “Sure they can manage their time; they’re the super student!” But what’s often missed is that their student time management strategy actually created their “super student” status. It’s not the other way around.
In other words, student time management gives you a bigger plate. It’s not the product of having a bigger plate.
It’s a subtle distinction – but vital to understanding why the top 5% of students have a student time management strategy. (Their strategy made them a top 5% student)
3. Students who do not manage their time are far less focused
Focus is a key component of an effective study skills approach. Without focus, homework doesn’t get finished. Test preparation doesn’t happen. Textbooks don’t get read. And grades will almost always suffer.
You need focus. And time management for students is a huge part of developing this focus.