Time Management Techniques for International Students

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Ola Elwassify

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24 April, 2017

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3 mins read

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Managing your time as an international university student could be a bit tricky at first. Student accommodations across the UK provide the student with an ample study area in their rooms, and they ensure that the appropriate study environment is available for all students. Most students buy calendars and scribble down schedules that they never really stick to, and they complain about it all the time; however, they may miss the most important step of scheduling: monitoring.

No one knows you better than you! In order to create an adherable schedule, you have to monitor your daily routines first and track the times you already complete them in, but trick yourself into a small habit that will save you plenty of time ahead: whatever is doable in less than 5 minutes, do it NOW. Little tasks add up when left undone, and they will cost you more time if done in chunks rather than accomplishing them on the spot when needed. Also, you have to make sure that you get from seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and keep yourself healthy as well.

After monitoring yourself, you will realize that you have been readying yourself for setting a successful studying schedule, but do not fall for the biggest two myths of multitasking and setting your goals first thing. What always makes you fail at sticking to your schedule actually are the things that you should not do, not the other way around. So initially, you need to write down the tasks that make you leave your desk and schedule them between studying breaks or on the weekend. This little, yet magical, task will eliminate distractions and will help you avoid procrastination. Do not worry; you will schedule fun time as well.

1. Be Realistic, Yet Fair

Align your tasks with your actual ability to finish them. Do not assign yourself too much work to avoid being stressed, but make sure you are not going easy on yourself when you can accomplish more.

2. One Task at a Time

Avoid overwhelming yourself with the necessity of multitasking, since this will not only bring you distractions but also will drain your energy quickly. Instead, cut down your projects and assignments into small tasks with short-term deadlines and focus on each independently. In the end, enjoy putting back the jigsaws together.

3. Say ‘No’ and Lock Yourself in

This is actually the toughest one! You have to shut out that friends’ gathering you have been waiting for or skip watching your favourite movie when you are up to your neck. But remember to go back to your calendar and schedule fun time out with friends as a reward for finishing what needs to be done.

 4. Productivity Boosters

Scoring well in your finals and mid-terms is your main target, after all, so you need to know which activities boost your productivity and schedule doing them in your breaks. The most common ones are cold showers, cooking, cleaning, doodling, power naps, and listening to music. The important thing is to get away from your desk to relieve your eyes from the stress of work. Also, decorating and personalizing your desk will urge you back to your chair with a willingness to work more. 

Extra Tip: study while standing or roaming around your room when bored, or join a group study area with your friends to provide and receive motivation. 

5. Technology

You can surf Facebook, Twitter, or watch one short episode from your favourite soap opera, but remember to keep monitoring yourself with technology usage, as they are the most productivity-killers activities there is. Remember to turn off all your cellphone’s notifications before settling into your studying aura. Limit the gaming times as well and schedule them as a reward.

6. Stay Healthy

One of the most useful break activities is a moderate paced workout, as it will leave you more energized and with good blood circulations in your brain to work better. Remember to avoid caffeinated drinks and eat an apple in the morning instead, or a small cube of dark chocolate in the evening, since they provide the body with a small caffeine and sugar boost.

Throughout all the stages, you have to be monitoring your productivity levels and your adherence to the schedule that you put together. You can re-edit and rewrite your schedule when needed. Remember to leave 10 minutes between the tasks to give you extra time to finish that one last paragraph.


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