Time Management Hacks for the Overwhelmed Tech Student

May 29, 2024 •

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Time management is the scourge of our progress and output. It affects us in work, life, and school. These are tips to help you manage your time as a tech student.

Habit stacking

Habit stacking is an underrated hack that students rarely use. It is a skill I subconsciously use to boost my productivity in my daily endeavors. It allows you to handle multiple things at the same time. It is a timesaver that is so simple to implement and stick to. One of my favorite habit stacks is having coffee as I handle deadlines and administrative duties for my remote team. I enjoy my morning coffee and log into meetings with my remote team with a big smile. Another example of habit stacking I do is writing my YouTube video scripts while enjoying my break from the hustle of my work. 

The principle of habit stacking is placing symbiotic tasks together, allowing you to multitask efficiently. You can use this principle in various ways as a student. I would practice coding before bed, or study a specific short topic on my coffee break. You'll knock down two birds with one stone doing this. You'll notice your time management and productivity steadily improve. Habit stacking is a game changer that will help you stay focused. It has been a great addition to my routine and will improve your time management. I have written an article to help you build on habit stacking.

Read: Action Breeds Clarity

Time blocking

Time blocking is a core time management hack I live by. It is a simple and efficient way to manage time, prioritize tasks, and prevent procrastination. It forces you to be accountable for how you spend your time. It also reveals bad habits we have. It's no secret we tend to extend our breaks or push our work back to do other things. This is the worst productivity killer as we unconsciously train ourselves to put off vital tasks for pleasurable activities. I've seen people become overwhelmed with their workload because they didn't properly manage their tasks. 

I like to focus on one task at a time. I have to-do lists for each day and week that I adequately distribute in specific time blocks. I focus on one task and do it to the best of my ability. I don't give myself the leeway to spend too much time on a task. These time blocks force me to use my time efficiently. I pair this hack with time tracking to ensure I use my time properly. I've incorporated checklists into this strategy. They detail the important aspects of the project that require my attention. Checklists are a good way to increase productivity. They guide your work and ensure you don't waste your time. 

You can make a to-do list with a checklist breaking down what to do. Students feel stressed when they have to balance numerous subjects. You can make this simple. Allocate time to your studies, have each topic with its delegated time slot, and watch your workflow improve. You can also get a software to help you manage your time. I use Goleko in addition to checklists to handle all my tasks and responsibilities. It helps me Manage Projects Better. You can learn more about checklists in the article below. 

Read: Boost Productivity With Checklist

The Pareto Principle (80⁄20 Rule)

The Pareto principle is a favorite of mine. It challenges you to decipher which tasks produce the best results. Doing these tasks first tends to produce the best outcome. I like working on developing software and offering services to my clients. These are 20% of tasks that produce 80% of the results. You can divide these tasks based on their importance. Break these tasks into smaller sections. Checklists are excellent for this purpose. This helps you focus and stay on track with the set goals.

These tasks are usually academic for students. You can pick the topic with the highest return. This is your 20%. Then divide the topic into specific objectives. A study guide is perfect for this. You can refer to previous academic year assessments to gauge the high-yield areas. You can use your study sessions to hammer the content and decipher areas that need to improve. You can take this further by forming study groups. This will help you cover more as everyone is assigned a topic to teach and explain. You can do this for any critical task to produce the best results. You'll be able to accomplish your goals and enhance your productivity. 

The Pareto principle allows for good time management. It helps you stay organized with a healthy work-life balance. It will help you handle simple tasks, reduce mental fatigue, and decrease stress. You can improve time management on your group projects by using screen recording software to give feedback. You can improve time spent on back-and-forth by giving excellent feedback on specific tasks. VideoFeedbackr is an excellent choice for your needs. Give feedback hassle-free while saving your valuable time. 

Eliminate Distractions

You can plan your day with a manageable amount of tasks. We overestimate our capabilities and end up frustrated when things don't work. Task management is a key principle to follow. Prioritize your tasks giving them different levels of importance and urgency. Saying you'll study for 10 hours is a lie. You'll probably procrastinate for 5 hours simply trying to start anything. This stunts your academic and professional life. It also grossly inflates the time you spend on tasks. 

It is better to set realistic and achievable goals. You can plan to study for 6 hours. You can divide these 6 hours into three 2-hour blocks. This will give you a better chance to study. Doing it this way also gives you reasonable rest times. These are vital for stress reduction and management. You can use productivity apps if they help you stay focused. Enhanced productivity is achievable by using your time well and proper project management. College can be a stressful place without effective time management techniques. I find using interesting documents helps me focus more. This is why I use ElegantDoc for all of my softcopy needs. It lets me Make Impactful Documents in Seconds allowing me to have fun and keep my focus as well.

Distractions are everywhere and it's vital to keep yourself focused. Accomplishing goals is addictive. You can finish one thing at a time daily or weekly. This will help you keep track of your progress. It will help you reduce stress and give you enough time for adequate sleep. Good time management skills are the key to seeing this type of success. 

The Starting Principle

The starting principle deciphers whether a task is pursuable in your current mental state. It is excellent for tasks you loathe or aren't looking forward to. I have used it to great effect and seen great results from it. You give yourself 5 minutes to work on that task. You can then determine whether you want to continue or not. I stop doing it if my view on it hasn't changed. This is one of my best time management tips. It prevents you from spending time forcing yourself to do a task. I prioritize quality in everything I do. Forcing yourself to do a task you don't want to do is counterproductive. You'll take regular breaks and get easily distracted.  

Many people find themselves powering through a task to meet upcoming deadlines. This is the wrong approach to follow when striving for excellence. You can refer to your long-term goals as often as you can. They will help formulate practical tips to keep you focused and on track. Forcing yourself to do a task for the sake of it is detrimental to your well-being and reduces your productivity. Compromising quality and wasting time is something a student should fight with every part of their being. This starting principle will help you avoid this. Value your time and energy. It is the first equity you have to showcase to the world. No one will value and respect it if you don't yourself. It's vital to keep your productivity up to ensure proper time management and efficiency. I've written an article to help you accomplish this.

Read:Practical Tips to Maintain Productivity

Take Aways

Time management is easy with a few adjustments. Taking time to habit stack, allocate time, and implement productivity principles. Keeping yourself focused by eliminating distractions also helps. Take time to use your mind and time the right way. It will see you achieve more and in less time. It’s not hard to build efficiency as a student. 

Mastering time management is a gradual process. It needs discipline and commitment on our part to make it achievable. Students can plan their days well and have a better experience in college and university. We have 24 hours in a day. Time management strategies make these hours more than enough to do most things. We need to make things simple for ourselves and these tips should help. 

Everything you want is on the other side. These tips make it easier to achieve and sustain. You can implement them into your routine. You'll see your productivity soar to new levels. You can be consistent enough with it. The results will validate your choice. 


FAQs

What are the best strategies to use to improve time management as a student?

Students can improve their time management with proper discipline and planning. Habit stacking, setting reminders, and using principles like the Pareto and Starting principles help. Consistency is the determining factor of how well everything works. 

What are the best tips to prevent distractions?

You can keep yourself focused on the tasks at hand. You can prime your location to maximize your focus and productivity on your tasks. This will help you maintain focus. You can keep your phone away and find a secluded place to focus. You can assess what takes your focus and do your part to eliminate it.

How can I best use the Pareto principle?

You can divide tasks based on their importance. Break these tasks into smaller sections. This is your 20%. Then divide the topic into specific objectives. Then divide the topic into specific objectives. A study guide is perfect for this. You can refer to previous academic year assessments to gauge the high-yield areas. You can use your study sessions to hammer the content and decipher areas that need to improve.

How can I best use the Starting Principle?

You give yourself 5 minutes to work on that task. You can then determine whether you want to continue or not. This will prevent you from wasting time on tasks you aren't happy with. It is a time management tip for students and professionals. Those 5 minutes are enough to save your time, energy, and motivation.

How can I properly allocate tasks for the best efficiency?

You can assess which tasks need the most attention. You can then plan your time into manageable time slots. Doing this will allow you to work on tasks in their priority order. You'll see good returns in your efficiency doing so.