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10 time management strategies for mature age uni students

This article appears in: Study tips
Hand holding clock to represent time management

Time management is increasingly challenging for adult learners who juggle different priorities in life such as academic studies, work, and family. Time management plays an important role for university students, because the ability to prioritise is the key to maintaining a harmonious and balanced lifestyle. Good time management brings plentiful benefits that will make things easier for you, your friends, and family. 

Here are ten time management strategies:    

Write a “to-do” list

A “to-do” list serves as a reminder of the important tasks that you need to prioritise. Tackle the most important tasks first. You should post the list in a prominent place with easy access such as on a bulletin board, refrigerator, calendar, mirror, Post-It notes, or on your electronic device.

Prioritise your work constantly

Decide what important task is to be done first. The use of a weekly planner can help remind you of your short-term goals such as reviewing lectures and studying for exams. The planner can also help organise your non-academic tasks that you need to accomplish so you can have a clear picture of what your day/week is going to be like. A yearly planner helps you plan your work over a semester and prepares you months ahead for important deadlines and upcoming events.  

Find a dedicated study space and time

Determine a place to study where it is free of distraction from friends, family members, or hobbies. Fight the urge to use your cell phone or engage in text messaging and social networking. And if your designated space is occupied, plan a change of venue such as the library or the local coffee shop.  

Budget your time to make the most of it

Creating a weekly schedule will help you determine how much time you spend on your daily/weekly academic and non-academic activities, and how much extra time you have before adding any additional commitments. Include some time in your schedule for relaxation to clear your mind. 

Work out your optimum study method

Determine the best time and situations for you to study and work efficiently. Whether studying at home with music as a background or quietly in the library, knowing your study preference will make you an efficient and effective student.

Be realistic about the time you spend studying

Academic work takes a lot of time to do - researching, taking notes, writing reports, and doing assignments. Put extra time into thinking, analysing, and understanding your work, but try not to be a perfectionist. Be realistic about the time you will spend on each task.  

Focus on long-term goals

Set your sights on where you want to be and what you hope to accomplish by establishing specific, measurable, and realistic goals. Prioritising and scheduling time to complete your immediate and short-term goals will lead you to the successful accomplishment of your long-term goals.  

Solicit help when you need it

Let family members know your study schedule and don’t hesitate to seek help. If family members understand and support your academic goals, tackling college life will be easier for you.  

Don’t be afraid to say “No”

Saying no is sometimes difficult to do. However, if you need to study for an exam or finish an assignment, you have to learn how to say no. Decline politely and be clear with your reason. Negotiate a time when you are free to comply with the request or to socialise with your friends.  

Review your notes regularly

Review your notes before classes to refresh your memory of the topics previously discussed. After the class, re-write or make additional notes that you missed. Reviewing your notes will help you prepare for the next class and to think of questions you may ask for clarification. 

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