For a student to succeed in academics, it is most important to stay organized in the approach toward studies. For that one should make a timetable for study and stick to it. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, it's not exactly as simple as it sounds. There are many things to do and so many elements that can cause a lot of distraction. A study planner will offer you some control over how you regulate time for studies as well as other activities. When you have a goal to fulfill and a time frame to get there, you tend to work well versed. So, if you wish to achieve higher grades and a better lifestyle, pick up your pen and paper and start making your personalized study timetable. Here are some tips to make your study schedule.
How to Start study:
Ask yourself the following three questions before you start something new:
1. What is the reason behind making this study plan?
2. What will be the output?
3. Is it worth the effort?
As soon as you get the clear answer to these three questions, proceed to the next step.
Tips for making and following a study schedule
1. Draw a chart
A timetable contains factors such as timings, assignments daily chores and duration for a particular task. So, it is a wise move to draw in the form of a chart or a tabular form. Keep the table neat and clean by drawing lines with the help of a ruler. Use a pencil as you might want to make some changes later.
If you want to make changes in the number of rows and columns, it is tedious to keep erasing and drawing the lines again and again. This is the drawback of this method. So, you can use MS Excel for the same and save the file on your PC or Laptop so that you can make changes as per your need. This is the easiest way to create a study schedule. You can also print out as many grids as you like. Sometimes students are not allowed to carry devices inside the classroom. A print out might come in real handy in such cases.
2. Consider the timings
Different timings suit different types of students. Some students prefer to study at night when everybody else has slept. Some others prefer to get up early in the morning to study with a fresh mind. All you need to do is take out some time and decide how many hours a day should you study? What is the best time of the day to study? Have a look at what enhances your entire study output. During this time do not think about other tasks that you have to do. Only decide the time when you can concentrate on your fullest on studies. You can regulate other things later.
3. Get your syllabus together
Your entire timetable has to revolve around how much you have to study. Depending on the amount of syllabus to cover, you need to decide on your study schedule. You need to decide what you need to devote more time to. Most of the school portals and websites have information like syllabus, exam time table, duration of classes, etc. Use it to your advantage.
4. Listing the responsibilities
It doesn't matter whether you are a student. Like everybody else, you have some responsibilities towards your family and friends that you have to fulfill. Make a list of all those responsibilities and allow time for them in your timetable. No student should be studying all the time. In fact, research shows that students with active physic tend to study much better. So, spend your time apart from extracurricular activities, having fun, playing outdoors. Also, set some time for spending quality time with others.
5. Set the frequency
Making a timetable once a week is the best strategy for preparing a study schedule. Students have more or less the same schedule for a week. That way you don't have to devote time to preparing a schedule every day. Make sure that your timetable has enough room for any sudden changes.
First, note down all the significant tests or assignment submissions that are coming up. You have to regulate the rest of the timetable according to that. Don't forget to include social events such as festive holidays or birthdays. When you have considered these factors start noting down.
You need to be firm with your study timing and be flexible with studying methods. Each student has a different attention span. Make sure you divide time to your studies according to how long you are able to give full concentration. Some students prefer to study at a stretch and take longer breaks. Some others prefer short study sessions with frequent breaks. For subjects that you find difficult, allot more time to them.
7. Break time
Give proper time to breaks for effective study. No student can study for hours without any break. Even if you manage to sit in front of a book for hours, you won't be able to give your undivided attention to what you are studying. A 15-minute break is enough for every one hour of studying. Breaks refresh your mind and give you more time to process. When you are studying on a computer, close your eyes for 5 minutes after every 30 minutes.
8. Go step by step
Use all the information that you gathered earlier. Make a mind map for each task with attention. Now fix a time for all your chores and allow blocks to them. This way, if you go step by step, you won't miss anything. Be prepared for any modifications that might occur due to changes. Of course, things are not going to remain exactly the same for such a long duration.
9. Deciding on the study subjects
Studying a single subject for a very long duration is hard. If the subject is not of your interest, things can get way too monotonous. So, schedule many subjects in a day so that you don't get bored. Variety of study topics will keep you active, and your interest will brighten up. Study groups will also be helpful for tough or boring subjects.
10. Color coding
This may look like something little kids would do. To engage your interest, the most crucial step is to make the timetable look as appealing as possible. Use different colors for different tasks. You can also highlight different subjects with specific highlighters.
Sticking to the timetable:
1. Stay stress-free
Thinking about how do get better at studying? Well, looking at so many tasks assembled at one place might be a little overwhelming. Make sure that you don't panic when you look at the timetable. Only keep crossing off tasks from your list as and when you fulfill them. A timetable is only a structure meant for helping you out. Its purpose to ease our worry, not to add to your stress. The purpose of a timetable is to add a little system to your daily life. Don't let it take away your peace of mind.
2. Frequent checks of timetable
When you check your timetable on a frequent basis, by and by, you begin to learn how to study and memorize stuff. If something doesn't seem to work the way you wanted it, don't be afraid to make changes.
3. Stick to the timetable
There is no point in going through all the effort of making a timetable if you don't follow it. Make sure you stick to the schedule. It might seem a little mechanical or robotic at first, but in the long run, this practice will keep you relieved.
4. Cut all distractions
The more the technology progresses, the more distractions it can create. Does your smartphone cause more harm to you than good? If yes, then try to detach from it during study hours. Chat messages and social media notifications cause the most damage this time. If you keep checking your phone while performing tasks, you risk losing track of the timetable in the first place.
You need to curb the urge to check your phone every time it beeps. It is a helpful practice to keep your phone in silent mode while doing something important. By doing this, your brain will not divert continual wondering what that beep was about. You can check your phone after each study session. Turn off the television when you are doing something important. They don't call it an idiot box for no reason. If other family members are watching it, study in another room and request them to turn down the volume.
5. Place of study
When you are steadfast to follow the timetable, the place of study plays an essential role in your schedule. Do you feel sleepy while studying even if the subject is of your interest? So, you should use a study table instead of getting too cozy on the bed.
6. Think about the consequences
Whenever you feel that you are about to get distracted or give up on your timetable think about the consequences that come with lethargy. You won't get a good score in exams. You will have to face a lot of stress during the exam time if you are not well-prepared in advance. The fear of negative consequences will act as a driving force for you to stick to your schedule.
7. Form a habit
The most fascinating thing about forming habits is that no matter how trivial the cause is, they are difficult to quit. When you form a bad habit, you have to muster up all the courage and determination to change it. Well, the same goes for good habits. Once you get used to following your timetable, you won't feel comfortable deviating from it.
8. Telling others
When you tell others about your timetable, they can keep eyes on you and notify you when you tend to go a little off track. This kind of supervision can help you stick to your schedule and keep you disciplined.
9. Tracking your progress
Track how well you are doing with your timetable daily. This gives you an opportunity to identify and fix any bugs that might come in your way. If you think some changes can help you follow the timetable best, make those changes as soon as possible.
10. Don't give up
When you have made a resolve do not let anything sway you away from committing to that resolve. Even if you mess up once, pull yourself up from where you fell off and continue following your timetable. Whenever you feel that you are about to give up, remind yourself of why you made the timetable. Think of the benefits you will be giving up by quitting.
11. Stay Motivated
Do you feel something after listening to a motivational lecture by a famous personality? The zeal that fills you with a passion for achieving something is often short-lived. One moment you are all fueled up to change the world, and as days pass by, this enthusiasm somewhat fades away. So, keep listening to motivational speeches. Read motivational books and quotes to stay confident and passionate about following a schedule. This motivation will act as a driving force in helping you achieve what you want.
12. Reward yourself
Following a schedule point to point is not a child's play. There is a certain level of self-discipline and self-control needed to pull off something like this. When you spend a full day following your timetable make sure to reward yourself. Give yourself a treat and be proud. You accomplished something that most people can't! You can also use the reward as a motivation tool to keep following the timetable.
Establish both long-term and short-term goals before preparing a timetable. Preparation of a timetable itself will help you plan in an effective mode. The timetable should incorporate both long and short-term goals.
Make a possible timetable. Do not set unrealistic goals. Set small term goals and then put the long-term goals in your timetable.
Block out school timings
Do not involve school hours in your timetable. The study hours should not involve school timings. Ensure that the timetable is not affected by the school timings.
Find your learning style
Your timetable should reflect your learning style. There are five different types of learning styles - they are:
- Visual learner – Learning by looking at a picture
- Aural learner- having an ear to the ground and picking up information by listening.
- Verbal learner- Learning by reading and writing
- Physical learner – learning by the physical presence
- Logical learner – learning by rationalizing
Find your learning style and according to that build your timetable.
You may even be a solitary learner or social learner. If you are a social learner, develop your timetable around group discussions.
Preparation for a particular semester and exam is usually a constant process. Once you finish a part another part arises. So, a progressive timetable is best for students' needs.
Realistic goals – simple and effective
Set realistic goals; otherwise, you might not be able to achieve your target. For example, if you think of finishing five chapters of Maths in two hours, it is not achievable. So, even if you tend to set high standards, see that you are able to achieve them. In this regard, it is also important to set more time for the subjects that you find difficult.
Avoid exam time rush
Cramming everything at the same time is not advisable at all.
Timetable apps available to create a timetable
There are many study timetable maker applications available online. You can get the timetable example from there. Many students take advantage of timetable apps. There are colorful and organized templates online. Teachers too can use this to plan the semester.
In conclusion, procrastination is one of the leading causes of failure among students. You need to deal with it as soon as possible. When you make a schedule and stick to it, you refrain yourself from putting things on tomorrow. You should realize the long-term benefits of sticking to a timetable. Time management is a good behavior. When it practiced by students can indeed guarantee academic success. Whatever age group you belongs to, if you manage your time in a tactful way, you gain an edge over others and rise above.