In a world filled with distractions, every student needs intentional efforts to improve their focus. There is just so much available to distract. If you pause in the middle of a good day and evaluate your activities for the time, you are likely to find out that you have spent more time doing ‘nothing’.
Before long, seconds roll into minutes, minutes roll into hours, hours roll into days, days roll into weeks, and weeks have gone by with unfinished tasks and uncompleted assignments. Research has revealed that a typical human has an average attention span of 8.25 seconds, and this span is likely to decline more as the years go by.
Now, the question is, as a student looking to graduate with excellence and fully study the course in view, how do you keep your focus rate high? This is where time blocking comes in.
According to statistics, 87% of students will have better grades if they have better time management control. Time blocking is a disciplined way of assigning tasks to specific times of your day. This increases your productivity level and helps you actually achieve set out goals. There are some best practices of time blocking for students, and this is what we will discuss in this blog.
What Is Time Blocking?
Time blocking is a method of time management that allows you to divide the activities of your day into extended stretches of time. Each block is solely devoted to a particular task or a group of tasks. Instead of gliding from one activity to the other in an unplanned manner, time blocking lets you focus on specific tasks per time and complete them.
For instance, if you have to complete four activities for the day, let’s say; laundry, cooking, content creation, and your schoolwork. Instead of leaving an open timing for these activities and moving from one to the next depending on your mood, irrespective of whether an activity has been completed or not, time blocking lets you assign a particular time to laundry, and you can only progress to the next task when you have completed the laundry.
Being a student requires a lot of deliberate actions, and one of these actions is effective time management. Combining assignments, work, extra-curricular activities, and still trying to get a social life is a daunting task.
Do you want the truth? Life does not slow down after college; it gets busier from here onwards. One of the best things you can do for yourself as a student is to learn to control your time. Yes, every now and again, there will be some unexpected activities popping up and distracting your planned schedule. However, you will find out that life begins to become more productive for you when you get time management right. There is no better time to inculcate a time-conscious habit in your life than now.
According to Cal Newport in one of his popular books, Deep Work, a 40-hour time-blocked workweek produces the same amount of output as a 60+ hour workweek pursued without structure.
Advantages of Time-Blocking for Students
Students who have a time block tend to always complete their assignments, attend all classes, and they seem to have just the perfect balance between school and social life. It almost seems like they have their life all figured out, but that is not the case. They simply know a hack that you don’t, and they take advantage of it.
Here are some of the benefits of time blocking for students;
1. Increased attention span:
Unsurprisingly, students who use time blocking techniques are more likely to have a higher span of attention. This is because practice makes perfect. Time blocking enables you to stay on a particular task until it is complete, avoiding all distractions. Therefore, students that are used to this lifestyle can pay more attention in class, are not easily distracted, and have a higher level of focus.
2. Meaningful activities are prioritized:
When you plan your time, suddenly, time becomes more valuable to you. You know how many minutes to allocate to the more serious, meaningful activities in your life, and you know how much time to allocate to less important tasks. This helps you decide on relevance in your life, and it quickly improves the quality of your life as a student.
3. It helps you gain more time:
Time blocking helps you accomplish your goals daily. As you sit down and complete tasks, you become more productive. In no time, you start to gain speed in the completion of these tasks. Ultimately, your productivity level increases, and you can complete important tasks in a shorter time, leaving you with extra time on your hands.
4. Stress level reduces:
Most times, what stresses students out is trying to complete huge workloads in small timeframes. This can be avoided with time blocking. When you time-block, you assign enough time to tasks with a huge workload. This way, you will be able to complete these tasks without pressure. You will find that your stress level will reduce greatly because there will be no need to panic when trying to get stuff done.
How to Start Using Time Blocking as a Student
Ready to take charge of your time? Here are some steps to get you started:
List your top priorities
You need to honestly decide what tasks are important to you as a student. If it helps you achieve your goal as a student, then it is important. If it will have a negative consequence on you if you do not get it done, then it is obviously important.
Also, find out the tasks that will have positive consequences on you if completed. Now, these tasks might not be urgent, but they are important, and getting them completed early will buy you more time in the future.
Smartly assign activities to days and times
The next step is to determine what goes where. This needs to be smartly done in order to be effective. For instance, if you have an assignment to be turned in on Thursday, placing the assignment to be completed on Tuesday is a good idea.
Build out your blocks
Now, it is time to create blocks and start adding sections to them. Create sections for deep focus-required work and for shallow work. Try to set out time for unexpected tasks in your schedules, as these kinds of tasks are very likely to come up all the time.
Insert some break times
You cannot sit down the entire day following the strict schedule without setting time to rest. You will fall asleep, friends will pay you a surprise visit, you will get an emergency call that requires your immediate attention, and unexpected stuff will happen a lot. If you do not factor these in, you will mix up the schedule a lot. Also include time for breaks. Social media, music, stretching, and movies all of these things are important to keep your creative juices flowing.
Use an app
Actually, you can save a lot of time trying to manually do all these by yourself by simply using an app. There are some efficient apps designed to help with your time management, and Akiflow is one of these apps. It makes the entire work easy for you.
Someone already did all the maths and figured out where what needs to be. All you need to do is personalize the app to suit your own schedule. Check it out.
Some Common Time Blocking Mistakes to Avoid
1. Underestimating your time:
Have you ever wondered how fast 24 hours go by in a day? Activities actually take up a lot more time than you might predict. It is a great idea to pad up the timing. Create space for extra time, as this will come in handy.
2. Being too rigid:
This cannot be stressed enough. We understand that you want to be very diplomatic with your life, but sometimes, unplanned fun is necessary to get your creative juices flowing better and keep you more productive. Input time for fun into your schedule. Be flexible.
3. Overscheduling your time for leisure:
Now, input time for fun does not necessarily mean you should spend 20 hours out of 24 on social media. Be a bit rigid with your time for leisure. According to studies, fun time is not really fun when it is scheduled. It might be a good idea to just let fun happen. Try taking out time to just relax instead, and see what the universe has in store for you.
Save 2 Hours Daily With Akiflow
Akiflow is an amazing tool that every student looking to better manage their time should definitely try. It is trusted by thousands of users around the world following its effectiveness.
Here’s what you get from it;
● Connect all your tools and handle your tasks from one place.
● Get access to useful analytics and notifications to ensure that you are on the right track.
The app is built to boost speed and keep you organized as a student. Try it out now!