Sometimes at school it may feel like you need to sacrifice your own social and recreational life in order to have sufficient time to study for exams or complete your assignments. Whilst study is incredibly important for success, it is vital to maintain a balanced lifestyle which allows time for not just school work but also recreation and relaxation. This will improve your overall wellbeing and the efficiency and quality of your work. Here are 6 methods you can easily implement which will help you to manage your time efficiently in order to maximise your study whilst still leaving room for socialising, activities and rest.
Create a Study Timetable
You may have heard about this method before however I cannot stress its benefits enough! Creating a study timetable will ensure you can plan out exactly what you are going to study each day around any activities you already have scheduled such as sport or family events. You can then organise any social activities and rest time around the study. It is recommended for a Year 12 Student to attempt to study 15 – 20 hours a week (not including any homework) during busy periods. This may sound like a lot however once you break it down using a study timetable, realistically it’s very manageable. When I was in Year 12 I would do my homework after school and at least an hour of study such as creating notes or answering practice questions. On the weekend each day I would wake up early and spend around 6 hours studying, focussing on 2 subjects. This would still leave me sufficient time in the afternoon to socialise with my friends or relax. You can download a study timetable template here
Realistically during busier school periods you do not have enough time to do EVERYTHING. Whilst it is incredibly important to exercise and socialise sometimes you may need drop some events in order to allow yourself enough time to study and more importantly rest. If you know you are tired or worn out it may be a better idea to skip on that party or sport training to ensure you are well rested. If you have multiple events on the same weekend I would recommend just choosing one or two that you really want to attend. Sport commitments can be hard in Year 12 too, depending on your priorities, it may be a better to opt to play at a less competitive level as this will involve less training and reduced stress.
Use Your Study Breaks Wisely
When studying for long periods of time it is extremely important to take breaks throughout the day. The brain struggles to focus after an hour. It is recommended to take a short break (5 – 15 mins) every hour and a longer break (30 mins – 1 hour) every 3 hours. In these breaks, remove yourself from your study location to clear your head. Exercise is a great way to use your study break so you may like to go for a walk with a friend, go to the gym or fit in some sport training.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
This may be the most important method for improving your time management. A well rested mind and body will work much more efficiently and retain more information than a tired one. It is recommended that teens should attempt to get 8 – 10 hours of sleep per night.
Know What Kind of Learner You Are
To use your time wisely you must know what methods work best for you. Everybody works differently so it’s important to learn what methods help you absorb information well. Some people are more visually inclined hence creating mind maps and diagrams will work best however others learn through speaking and writing hence creating notes and flashcards is more sufficient.
Study With a Mate
Studying with a friend can be great as it allows you to spend time with your mates all whilst getting work done! You can combine resources and offer support to each other. Practice questions are one of the best ways to learn however you don’t always have an abundance of them, although with a friend you can test each other on difficult concepts from your own notes by asking questions aloud. Teaching someone else a concept also helps you to understand the concept yourself. Make sure you choose your study partner wisely as sometimes your best mate might not be the best option, think about who you get distracted by and who you work well with. I would not recommend studying in a group larger than 3 as it becomes too easy to get off topic.
Hopefully these tips help you to better manage your study and life balance. Remember to look after your body, make sure you get plenty of rest and eat well! It’s okay to take a break if you feel under too much pressure, you will feel better once you’ve had a break and cleared your head. Let us know what your top time management tips are in the comments below!