If you have been a frequent reader of our blogs at FamilyTutor, you may notice a trend of us often including creating a time-table to maximize your productivity every day. We are a strong advocate of proper time management and wish to impart this virtue to you as well. But a novice to creating time-tables may have trouble getting their own time-tables started, and that is exactly what we will be going over now.
An effective time-table is the secret to a well-managed day. By having a tangible list (either a physical or digital list) of your activities and time allotted to do them, you limit the chances of you forgetting your schedules and have a concrete base for what you will do every day. Never underestimate an effective time-table, as this will mean a life of zero cramming and satisfaction as opposed to a life of constant cramming, panic, and loss of time to be used for self-improvement.
As we often preach on our blogs, an effective time-table will enable you to gain a lot of benefits as long as you follow the time-table you have created. These are a few of the benefits of an effective time-table:
Now that we have gone over what you gain by creating an effective time-table, it is time to start creating your own. But before we move forward, it is also important to know that it would be wise to allot an adequate portion of your time every week or month to creating your time-table. The little details which you often forget when formulating your time-table in a rush will most likely be the ones which will haunt you the most when your schedules start to get busier.
With that taken care of, it is finally high time to make an effective time-table for you to utilize for your everyday student life. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to make an effective time-table:
Before you start dividing up portions of your time, it is first needed to determine how much free time you have which you can utilize. Leave out the time you spend during class, the time you use you use up while travelling to and from your school, and lunch breaks. It may be logical to utilize as much time as you can muster, however, it is never a healthy decision to forsake your own needs and health for you to have more time to split up.
Now that we know what time you can and cannot use, we can then proceed to total them up and convert them in minutes. By converting your available time in minutes, you can then allocate just enough time for small tasks as well such as taking breaks and night time personal hygiene which only takes about 5-10 minutes. It is a lot easier to give them labels which read as “10 minutes” as opposed to “1/6th of an hour”
Now that we know how much available time you have; you now need to jolt down essential needs such as hygiene and eating. That time is also part of the time which you must never forsake in exchange for more time to study, as your health and well-being always comes first. Plus, how can you call it an effective time table if you have no time left to do essential activities?
It may seem contradictory to take away more time from your time-table, but it always pays off to take care of yourself and your health first before anything. A healthy and well-groomed body is a productive body. You can do more work more efficiently and with fewer risks if you are feeling healthy and fresh.
After you give time to take care of yourself, what you need to do next is to prioritize urgent and important activities. These can range from studying for your exams this coming Friday, practicing for a role play you are to present for everyone during parents’ day, or making a miniature model of your city to be passed next week. An activity which takes up a lot of time to accomplish and is of high regard within your curriculum is considered urgent and important.
These activities should be given enough time per day to accomplish as these activities are often what causes stress and cramming if left unattended for too long, which is never good. By prioritizing these activities, you can rule out more than half of the reason you wanted to create a time-table in the first place.
Bonus tip: Always leave a window for “homework” every night, as you can never predict when your teachers or professors decide to give some for you to answer and submit the following day.
You may not like it, but unexpected events always happen in real life. However, you can mitigate their effects to your time-table by including leeway for emergencies and interruptions in your schedule, making it more flexible and versatile.
If your groupmate fails to finish his assigned task which you gave three days ago, then just move on with your next task and move your schedules one wind ahead. And when your groupmate finally finishes his task, then you can insert finalizing your papers whenever you finish your current task.
Of course, there are other forms of interruptions such as getting sick, a corrupted file, or a lost output. And the best course of action for these kinds of events is to stay calm and revise a portion of the windows within your time-table and move around and deduct or add time to other activities which may be affected by the interruption.
Just like on step 2, it would be wise to give yourself a few breaks for stretching and drinking water. Schoolwork is very tiring and having your free time eaten up by it can do a lot of damage to your morale and willpower. You can mitigate this by giving yourself a few breaks every now and then. You can use this time to do some stretching which your back has longed for so long, drinking water to keep yourself hydrated, or just to ease up from your busy schedule and have a little do nothing window.
However, you should limit your breaks to about 10 minutes for every hour you give to schoolwork. As easing up to much may cause you to be lazy and make you less motivated to continue with what you were doing before taking a break. And don’t worry if you feel like you have fewer breaks than you would like with this time-table as you can always revise your time-table whenever you want to.
Does it sound really boring that your time-table only has academic activities in it? Yes, it is. This is also a poor notion of only filling your time-table with academic activities. It can make your time-table look very intimidating and can make you lose motivation to follow it.
Add in some time to do recreational activities that you enjoy like playing with your guitar or playing some online games. This can serve as motivation for you to follow through your time-table and will serve as a sign that your time-table is well balanced.
You can also insert a few windows during your weekends for going out with your friends. After all, what good is a time-table if you can’t even plug some quality time with your friends and do fun things. And don’t worry if you somehow have too little time for recreations and self-improvement as you can always edit and revise your time-table later on.
The last step to finally create your own effective and fool-proof time-table is to go over your pre-made schedules and make sure that you are satisfied with it. After all, you will be the one to follow what you made and you are the only one who can edit your time-table.
Go over the little details such as breaks and make sure you have enough leeway for any unexpected happenings. It is also a great idea to ask your friends for their plans during the week to incorporate it to your own. This way you will no longer be constantly changing your time-table every time a friend asks you to come with them for the weekend.
Schoolwork is mostly predictable as most teachers and professors announce any major events such as exams and projects in advance so you should be able to be fine with your pre-made time-table. However, always provide enough time every night for any homework the might give without any warning.
After formulating up you complex and fool-proof time-table, the next thing you should do is stick to your time-table. Because all of your effort put into creating it will only be wasted if you decide not to follow it. With that being said, it is time to congratulate yourself as you now have formulated your own effective and well-managed time-table.
If you enjoy content like this, consider visiting FamilyTutor. We are a home tuition agency with thousands of highly skilled and qualified home tutors. We offer private tuition from pre-school to university level and have a wide variety of subjects to choose from. You can learn a lot more than how to make effective time-tables if you register and become one of our students at FamilyTutor. We wish you luck on your academic endevours!
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