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What are your best time management tips?

As student, I am struggling with time management. The thing is that, although I plan my day, I cannot fullfill my planned work. During the day, I am being stressed, walking as all negative. Important thing to mention is that, my university's educational system is that, we have very often too many exams. In last exam, I got low score and after a month I am going to have subject exams again. I am worrying too much and cannot live normal/pieceful life. When I was at high school, I enjoyed/loved learning. But now, I lost this trait. What can you advice TED community, how can I regain my this trait? I am feeling and realizing that I am not studying for myself, it's just may be for passing exams. I know I was not this kind of person, and I'd love to know any of your advices.

Thank you

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  • Feb 11 2013: I am also currently a college student, and I know how you feel. I went through this my whole freshman year of college. The first year was a huge realization to how easy I had it back in high school. The one task that saved me and I still use is putting notes on my desktop. I started placing notes of all the assignments and tasks that I needed completed, and I would always make the due days at least 2 days before the teacher's scheduled due date. This allowed me to focus on each days assignments stress free, because I knew that I had the time to get them done. Give it a try it worked for me, it may work for you!
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    Feb 10 2013: There is a quote that says:

    "When you fail to plan, then you must plan to fail"

    Sit down and make check lists....plan out your day, then your week, then your month...etc....

    Figure out what you are spending your time on.

    Something is eating away your time......what is it?

    OR.....perhaps you are doing too much and you need to cut back on something.

    None of us really know you.....why don't you try talking to someone who you trust and knows you personally. Perhaps they can pinpoint exactly what your problem is.

    And don't give up......we all have ups and downs........university is a tough time.......it will pass before you know it, and maybe, just maybe, you'll wonder why you worried so much.....

    Be Well :)
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    Feb 9 2013: This is challenging to answer for someone else, going to school in a different country.

    One question I have is whether you might take fewer courses next term or a different mix of courses. For some people, for example, it is easier to take a mixture of math/science and other courses rather than either all math and science or all courses with lots of reading and papers to write. Are you studying the subject that most interests you or following someone else's desires for you?

    Another question is why you cannot fulfill your planned work each day. Do you underestimate how long things will take or do you get distracted with eating, email, and friends stopping by to talk with you? Do you have a particular place that is just for study or do you study in places where you also sleep, eat, and socialize? Many people focus better if they do it in a space dedicated only to that use and turn off your phone while you are busy.

    Do you plan very long stretches of uninterrupted study? People have a different natural length of focus. For many people, more than a ninety minute stretch without getting up out of your chair is not productive. On the other hand, sometimes cutting things off too soon is unproductive. It's useful to notice how long you can work before you start losing effectiveness and to schedule taking your best rhythm into account.

    I always found it was easier to do the more concrete stuff first- like problem sets- before studying for tests or writing papers. I am fairly certain that my daughters, one of whom has a degree in physics and math and the other in chemistry, did that as well. Problem sets can be harder when you are already tired.

    I like to finish one thing before moving onto the next, but my son doesn't.

    Trying to eat properly, to keep to a regular schedule of waking and sleeping, and to get enough sleep are typically helpful for feeling well and being able to focus.

    Again, it is hard to give general advice that works for everyone.
  • Feb 10 2013: Touch things once. Deal with things one time, if you can.
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    • W T 100+

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      Feb 21 2013: I came back to this conversation to see where it was at, and saw this comment.

      Is it aimed at me?

      If so, then Yes!! it works.

      Especially when they have school work to do and are anxious to goof off and do something fun.
      I just say..."Do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do"

      I must admit, I use it on myself also......because it is easy for me to get off-task easily...LOL
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    Feb 11 2013: Hmm, well, my degree is from Stanford, very fine school, but in literature.

    Just out of curiosity, how did you decide you wanted to be a doctor? I take it in high school you took the typical courses someone might take who likes medicine, like physics, biology, math? And you did very well in them?

    Why do you want to be a doctor, what are the rewards for you? Helping people? Money?

    Is there some particular aspect of medicine that interests you most, that you would like to specialize in?

    Did you have a lot of friends in the past? What did you share, what brought you together?
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      Feb 12 2013: Your comment reminded me of an interview someone gave on tv.
      The person stated that when he was little his mom always said to him:

      "Do what you have to to, so you can do what you want to do".

      I have never forgotten that advice....and I use it often with my kids when they try to procrastinate.
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    Feb 10 2013: sh 12, can you please tell us what you are studying, from what angle, with what purpose? As you've presented your problem now, it's very abstract, very generalized.
    • sh 12

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      Feb 11 2013: I am pre-med program student. I want to be doctor in the future. I studied my subjects at high school in different language but I applied university where education is provided in english. I, personally myself cannot understand what's really my problem. Next thing is also may be connected with my social life. I am the only girl from my city in this university and here, people are from different nationality. I am not really enjoying my life or studies. I am not being able to make best, close friends. Here, it is kind of nobody cares about each other, competition, being best, I do not know, I am tired of it. And, all combined, it gives me pressure and stress.
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        Feb 11 2013: Remember that to have a friend, you have to be a friend.

        If you are a close observer, you will find that little by little you will notice individuals you may befriend.

        You can have friends in different places for different reasons.

        Finding a best friend, someone to tell your problems to and to spend time with, might be a bit of a challenge.

        See if you can use the diversity among the students around you. Ask questions about their hometown, and listen attentively at their replies........taking a personal interest in others may have a wonderful outcome.

        Of course, I am not familiar with your culture or what is seen as proper or improper.

        So take what you can from my advice, and discard the rest.

        In the meantime, continue to enjoy our TED community to post questions and contribute to our convesations.

        Have a great week!!!
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        Feb 11 2013: Can you apply for transfer to a different school?
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    Feb 10 2013: I make a list of every goal for the following day, even small things such as 'buy food shopping', 'delete old computer files' etc etc
    Then on that day I complete them as soon as physically possible ( the ones where a quick job is acceptable, that is).

    Simple and works well.