The Best Time Management Tips for Busy Students

By Laura Buckler on 24 July 2018

Studies are increasingly putting emphasis on one single thing – students today are more distracted than any previous generation. Such distractions lead to the loss of time and a massive reduction in productivity.

Whether you’re in high school or attempting to master the university curriculum, chances are that your time management efforts aren’t as effective as you’d want them to be. In order to improve the situation, you will have to put some more emphasis on self-discipline and changing habits that are contributing to the waste of time.

While such changes may seem to be difficult, even impossible in the very beginning, you will soon notice the positive effect they’re going to have on your life.

Get Rid of the Distractions

Stemming from the introduction, this one is a no-brainer. Distractions are keeping you from focusing your mental power and tackling the most challenging academic tasks. Even if you are an excellent student, your performance is still going to suffer if you fail focusing on the most important tasks at hand.

Most distractions that students succumb to stem from contemporary technology. It would be an excellent idea to get rid of your phone when you sit down to study. Otherwise, you will feel tempted to post an Instagram selfie or check out Snapchat. To prevent this from happening block Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook or WhatsApp on your computer or your Android phone, at least for 2 hours for uninterrupted study time. How? Well, you could try FocusMe for free.

Finding the right place to study is also going to be important. Whether you live at home or with roommates in a dorm, you have to get others to respect your personal time. A silent room where people will not be coming and going all the time is going to be needed. If you can’t find such a place at home, going to the library will still be your safest bet. You will see how much a difference the place makes the first time you decide to change the settings.

Prioritize Tasks

If you’re trying to write an essay, draft a presentation and complete lab work at the same time, chances are that you’ll fail miserably at all three of these tasks.

Time management is all about the smart utilization of the available hours.

You know that you can’t complete everything today. Thus, you should put priority on the most important tasks or the ones that are due in the shortest amount of time. Prioritization is a fine balancing act. You may have a very long assignment that isn’t due tomorrow and math homework that you’ll have to submit in a few hours. Which one should you prioritize? Should you opt for urgency or the importance of the task?

In most cases, you will need to focus on both. Create a calendar that will help you keep track of due assignments. You should also have a more or less accurate idea about the amount of time you’ll need to handle each task. Based on these two factors, you can decide how to make the most of the available time every single day.

Flexibility Will Be Needed

We all know that things don’t always go according to plan.

While having a schedule is a great idea, a sudden change may occur and wreak havoc on your plan. A bit of flexibility will be required to react in the most adequate way in such situations.

A good schedule is balanced and it always leaves a bit of time for emergencies. Knowing how to change your priorities on the go will also be important for handling all tasks without panicking and without pushing yourself into sleep deprivation territory.

Most full-time students have to dedicate approximately 35 hours per week to learning activities. If only a small portion of this time is dedicated to going to class, the rest should be allocated to independent studying. As you can see, there is sufficient room for flexibility, making it possible to schedule in a last minute assignment or a family occasion that has been announced all of the sudden.

A final thing to remember is that some tasks will take much more than the anticipated time. Even if you’re confident in your knowledge and skills, you should allocate a few additional hours to each task In the event of finishing on time, you will be left with a few pleasant hours you can dedicate to leisure time activities.

Allow for Personal Time

Taking care of your health and wellbeing is as important as handling homework in a time efficient manner.

Time management for students should envision for a bit of personal time. Getting enough sleep, exercising, meeting with friends and consuming healthy meals are all important. Such activities will keep your energy levels up and increase your ability to focus on academic tasks.

Even if you don’t feel like doing it, you should get in the habit of exercising a few times per week. Exercise doesn’t have to involve an hour in the gym every other day. You can have a pleasant walk in the park, you can go to yoga, a dance class or a swimming pool with friends. Keeping yourself active will strengthen your body and enhance your cognitive ability. This means that regular exercise makes you smarter and it can reduce the amount of time needed to do your homework or write a thesis paper.

Don’t underestimate the importance of socializing, going out and letting your mind relax. If you spend too much time on academic tasks, you will lose traction sooner or later. It’s a much better idea to go outside and take care of your health. Once you go back to your lessons, you’ll feel much more rejuvenated and capable of handling complex tasks.

A good schedule is all about finding the work-life balance. Good time management is based on personal awareness, familiarity with your tasks and your ability to handle those in a certain time period. Be realistic when examining your learning schedule. On occasions, you may have to sacrifice fun activities for the purpose of ensuring effective management of tasks. When you’re done with the respective project, however, you will be free to do the things that you enjoy the most. This is yet another stimulus for the effective allocation of time.


In her freelance contributions and articles, Laura Buckler is helping readers to gain a different perspective on life, one piece at a time. Follow her on Twitter to receive some of that inspiring motivation that has become her trademark style.