The Art of Time Management in Coursework: Strategies for Success

Managing time is a tricky business. If your skills need more polish, get ready to join the long list of students who spend all-nighters working on their coursework. But when you have a top-notch sense of time, you can even sign up for add-on courses to utilize the free hours on your hand. No one will stop you from picking up a hobby in your free time.

Due to poor time management, meeting deadlines becomes an impossible task. Your professors might be understanding of the first few late submissions. But once it becomes a regular occurrence, you have to deal with strict penalties. Then, you’ll wonder, “Can an expert hired by do my assignment?

Well, of course they can help you complete your paper. But that won’t magically solve the problem.

Only effective time management skills can save you from this nightmare. Want to know a few strategies to get you started? Continue reading.

  1. Conduct a Parento Analysis

Vilfredo Pareto, a reputed Italian economist, believed that your actions and outcome occur in the ratio of 20:80. In other words, your actions determine everything. That’s why you have to focus on your actions. This analysis includes the following steps –

Step 1: Identify the problem

Identification is a must to solve any problem. For this example, let’s assume that your poor academic performance is the main issue.

Step 2: Identify the root cause

After identification, look at the root cause of the problem. Only then will you be able to apply the correct methods to fix the issues. Here, the root cause of poor academic performance can be a lack of time to study.

Step 3: Score each problem

Next, it’s time to assign some scores! Pick one issue and assign it a number. Don’t do it randomly! The higher the score, the more important the issue.

Step 4: Create groups for similar problems

Review the problems that you’ve listed down and categorize them according to similarity. For example, group all problems that you face due to a hectic schedule.

Step 5: Add up the scores for each group

Now, add the score of the individual problems for each group. The one with the highest score requires immediate attention.

Step 6: Solve the problems

Come up with an effective plan to solve the most urgent problems ASAP.

  1. Try the Eisenhower Matrix

If you can’t prioritize tasks, you’ll end up facing innumerable problems throughout your academic years. Here’s an example to give you a better idea. Suppose Student A has two tasks – one has a deadline after 2 days and another has a deadline after 3 days. Now, they start working on the task with the earlier deadline first. But it’s a simple one which they could have finished in 1 day. Since they take 2 days to work on it, they have only 1 day to complete the next task, which requires more research. So, Student A ends up rushing through it, which ends up affecting the quality.

In order to avoid this situation, you can try the Eisenhower Matrix. Construct four blocks and title each as –

  • Urgent and Important (high priority)
  • Urgent but Not Important (medium priority)
  • Not Urgent but Important (medium priority)
  • Not Urgent and Not Important (low priority)

Now, delegate your assignments to each category. That should give you a clearer picture of the tasks that you should focus on first.

  1. Block time throughout the day

The blocking method is another helpful method to make the most of your entire day. Here, you have to block your time and assign tasks to each block. Check out this sample:

Time Blocks Activity
6 – 6:30 Freshen up after waking
6:30 – 7:00 Exercise
7:00 – 7:15 Breakfast
7:20 – 9 Study
9 – 9:30 Get ready for classes
10 – 17 Attend classes
17 – 19 Part-time work
19:30 – 19:45 Take a break
19:45 – 20:00 Have dinner
20:00 – 22:30 Study

This strategy can boost your productivity. But don’t push yourself too much. Make sure you don’t add tasks on top of each other.

  1. Try out the Pomodoro Technique

One of the worst decisions you can take when working on your coursework is to eliminate all break times. After all, human beings cannot work continuously like machines. If you do that, you’re going to experience burnout sooner or later. Fortunately, the Pomodoro Technique offers you a way out of this mess.

According to this technique, you –

  • Study for 25 minutes at a stretch
  • Take a break of 5 minutes
  • Study for 25 minutes
  • Take a 5-minute break again

The process keeps repeating. This technique prevents mental fatigue as you tackle your coursework.

A distracted brain cannot resist the temptation to check on social media every few seconds. Before you know it, a simple 5-minute break becomes 2 hours of mindlessly surfing videos online. But when you pace yourself well and take regular breaks, you can replace this mindless activity with more productive work.

  1. Get the frog out of the way

What’s a frog doing in a time management strategy blog, you ask? Well, hear me out. Mark Twain once said that if you eat a live frog in the morning, any other problem that you encounter throughout the day will pale in comparison. Apply this same philosophy to your assignments. Get the most demanding and stressful task out of the way as quickly as you can.

If you procrastinate on a horrid task, it will come back to bite you later. Once it is out of the way, the other remaining tasks will seem easier to complete.

  1. Be realistic about your goals

Setting small goals throughout the day can stroke the competitive spirit in you. Suppose you have a daily writing goal of 500 words. Stick to it for one week. Then, increase the goal to 700 words for the next week. Keep doing this gradually until you can write 100 words easily. If you want, you can incentivize the task as well. But don’t set unrealistic goals that you can’t achieve.

Considering the previous example, you can’t just jump to 2000 words suddenly without increasing your word count gradually. Even if you push yourself to the extreme, you’ll tire out easily. That’s the easiest way to lose motivation. So, be more realistic about what you can achieve. Otherwise, this strategy can backfire.

  1. Build a routine for the best results

A routine ensures productivity. Now, there are certainly exceptions to this. You’ll often find people who can work anywhere and anytime without their productivity being hampered. But these are EXCEPTIONS. They are not the norm.

That’s why you should set a daily schedule and stick to it through thick and thin. Being consistent is the key. Even if the results aren’t apparent from Day 1, you can’t lose hope. Come up with a schedule that allows you time to rest properly, and you’re good to go.

In conclusion,

People aren’t born with outstanding time management skills. These things take time to learn and master. Besides, academia isn’t the only place where they come in handy. Time management skills can help you in your professional life as well. So, go through the strategies in the blog and check which ones work best for you. Good luck!

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