ExecutiveChronicles | How University Will Help You Develop Time-Management Skills | Studying at a university differs significantly from school, and studying abroad is different from anything you’re used to. It requires more independent work. The amount of material to be studied increases all the time, and it often happens that you have to read 50-100 pages by the time you get to class, and that’s just for one course. In addition to studies, there are a lot of important things that you need to find time for, like finding time to write a thesis paper the night before the deadline, going out with friends, going on a date, socializing, etc. This is where time management helps.
If you have ever had trouble coping with your tasks and personal life – no worries. Pro-papers will be of great help to you. Professional writers will assist you with any writing assignment of yours.
So how to survive under such an intensive period and is it realistic? First, studying should be perceived as a temporary phenomenon. Yes, it seems that a year on the master’s degree or four on the bachelor’s degree will last forever, but time flies quickly. Second, you are not the first and not the last student to study in this mode. Contact the study center. They can help you adjust quickly.
If you are left with the problem of time management alone, here are some tips.
Plan your study
In the beginning, students are given course programs with very clear deadlines for tests and exams. Teachers also discuss the main stages of the course in the first lesson. This is very useful information, and you need to approach it systematically. Such planning will be useful for distributing the workload.
Determine when you have key dates for each course, how much material you need to master, and try to study for 20-40 minutes each day. The information will be perceived more effectively and stored in long-term memory. This way you will understand more material and before the exam, you will only have to repeat everything.
Sometimes teachers assign presentations and group projects before the final exam. Do not hesitate to be proactive, take the first assignment, and hand it in on time, because further the number of assignments from different teachers will only grow and you risk getting bogged down in deadlines. This approach will help you in the future to prioritize your work tasks.
Take notes from lectures
Taking notes from lectures really helps you structure and retrieve material when you study on your own. It’s helpful to reread the notes in the next 24 hours after the lecture, as well as before class. You once again let your brain update the information and send it to long-term memory.
There are several styles of outlining. Understand which suits you best: whether you are more comfortable typing or writing; how you understand the information better: linearly or through diagrams and charts. Don’t try to write down everything after the teacher; it will only take your time. Rather, write down the main point the professor wants to make, so you understand the material more deeply and can formulate questions if something is not clear.
You can use apps like Evernote or OneNote to capture lectures, which can structure information in folders and tags as well as save screenshots and other visual elements.
This skimming skill will help you in the future to gain new knowledge and skills.
Use helpful resources
When time is short and your reading list is not running out, you can use existing resources that collect so-called study guides – outlines and retellings of literary works, major topics, and concepts from various disciplines. Cliff Notes, which began as a summary of great novels, is one of them. Today, you can find everything from a retelling of Hamlet to methods for studying global populations on both resources. That will teach you to get needed info in a short period of time.
Study in a group
While studying, try not to shut yourself off. Through interactivity, discussion, retellings, and discussions with classmates, the most interesting ideas come and the material is absorbed more quickly and effectively. Participate actively in group work, make a couple of friends with whom you feel most comfortable sitting together in the library or discussing what you have read. Socialization is not only good for learning more effectively, but also for mental health – you will be a support group for each other.
Understand what you read
Reading and memorizing by heart the night before the exam will not have a profound effect because the large amount of information that you will try to memorize in a short period of time will quickly disappear from your short memory. It’s important to learn to comprehend. Take small notes on the text, make brief conclusions after individual sections, and write down what you have understood, or paraphrase what you have just read. Translate unfamiliar words in texts only if they are key to understanding.
Do not multitask
You think you can do everything, but you can’t. Try to concentrate on one task for 20-30 minutes at a time, turning off your phone and all notifications, with short breaks for social media. There are a huge number of apps to help you block sites and social networks from yourself like OffTime or Flipd. You can also use the built-in features to monitor your time spent in apps or simply turn off your notifications or Wi-Fi for a while.
Don’t forget to rest. The brain works in two phases. First, it actively consumes information and then digests it. That is why it is important to take breaks and spend your weekends resting, not studying. Walks in nature, sports, socializing with friends, a long nap and a good meal – all will contribute to a deeper absorption of the material. But don’t forget to get back to work.
Studying at a foreign university is a very exciting experience, but also very stressful. Long-term planning is important in this situation. A conscious allocation of resources, i.e. your time and your ability to remember and absorb the material, will be the main strengths that make your educational experience the most rewarding and memorable.