Back to school – planning for effective time management

With most UK pupils having now returned to school, many will be thinking about a daunting schedule of exams and revision, depending on the year of study.  Others will have made the move from junior to secondary, and be faced with a timetable of different class times, new buildings and new teachers to get used to. With so much to think about, it’s important to prioritise time management in the early stages of term to ensure that workload is managed effectively throughout the school year.

As a company that specialises in student planners, diaries and organisation, we promote the importance of time management through our product range. We’ve put together four top tips for effective time management, whether you’re a teacher looking to educate pupils, a parent looking to offer effective guidance, or even if you’re a student yourself, we hope you’ll find these pointers helpful when it comes to prioritising time:

    1. Plan effectively

As planning experts, this was always going to be our first piece of advice!  School timetables are fixed. You know where you need to be, at what time. The need for prioritisation occurs out of timetabled hours, when seeing friends becomes more important than school work. It’s important for students to prioritise time, and create a balance between work and social life. By using Planners and diaries to create additional, out-of-hours timetables for homework, students can relax knowing that they’re aware of what they should be doing, and when they should be doing it.

Workload should be scheduled evenly throughout the week, to ensure that all tasks aren’t crammed into one evening of stress.

    2. Make time for breaks

This is extremely important when revision season rolls around. It’s common for students to ‘panic revise’ cramming everything into a short period of time the night before an exam. With not enough time to digest the information – and probably a very late night resulting in lack of sleep – knowledge is forgotten as quickly as it was learned. The most effective way to overcome this is to plan solid blocks of revision time, spread throughout the week, with a 15 – 30 minute break every two hours. After all, after an hour or two of revision, who isn’t in need of a cup of tea and a bourbon biscuit (or three).

    3. Be on time!

Nobody wants the embarrassment of being ‘the late one’, having to walk through a classroom of settled students in a flustered state. To allow for an effective period of learning, students should arrive to lessons on time, allowing for effective intake of knowledge.

When considering out-of-hours study, it’s also important to set a start and end time. If a student plans to start homework as soon as they get in from school, but end up being persuaded to go to the cinema with their mates – chances are that their homework completed at 10 o’clock at night will be very different to work that could have been completed just after school hours . To achieve the best results, it’s important to plan and schedule time effectively, and ensure that these timings are maintained.

    4. Set alerts

If work has a set deadline, it can be helpful to set up mobile notifications to alert to upcoming deadlines. Especially useful for work set that may not need handing in for a few weeks, this stops deadlines being forgotten. It can also be very effective when planning work with numerous, smaller deadlines, for example, pieces of coursework or essays. An alert could be set up when each section should be started, and then when it should be complete, to enable complete control over time management.

Looking back and evaluating time management methods, and tailoring them according to which work best, allows for effective scheduling of time. What works well for one person in regard to time management, may not work for another.  For example – some people like writing things on paper, others like to use their mobile phones as their central time management hub. It’s all about adapting to what works for you.

If you have any top time management tips for us, tweet us @Penstripe_

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