Learning to manage your time effectively can be a challenge.
Managing your time “effectively” means getting the grades you want while still having time to do the things you enjoy.
If you have trouble focusing, there’s a good chance that your need for life / school balance is going unmet.
But by approaching this challenge strategically, you can learn to manage your time better and also do well academically.
Like an eagle honing in on its prey, you can learn to take in the big picture first and then focus in on the details. Here are 5 ways to get started:
ADHD Time Management Strategy: 5 Awesome Tips
1. Know Why You’re Studying
Setting goals for yourself is essential. You’ve probably heard this a million times, but why is it so important?
Goals give you the motivation to keep going when you’re tired, or bored, or you’re not really sure how to do the assignment. If you know that you want to go to Veterinary school someday, you know why you’re studying biology now. Or maybe you’re one of those people who thinks Mesopotamia is fascinating, so studying history is just fun.
Goals also helps you hone in on exactly what needs to happen to accomplish those goals. When you know what you want, it’s much easier to decide how much time and effort it’s going to take to get it.
Knowing why you’re studying creates a strong foundation for your time management strategy.
2. Know Where You Are Grade-Wise
No one needs to obsess over grades, but it is important to know exactly where you stand. The best strategy is to check your grades weekly.
If you’re like most of the students I work with, you’d rather put grades out of your mind entirely. However, one of the most helpful things you can do is to take a non-judgemental look at where you are, so you know what to improve and when you can kick back.
This can be a little scary, but exciting, too. You might even feel more motivated when you’re in the middle of a challenge with your best self.
When you monitor your grades, you can change your approach to studying depending on how you’re doing. When managing your time, it’s important to know exactly where you need to put your energy each week.
3. Set A Specific Study Goal
If you’re like most people struggling with ADHD, getting sidetracked is common. You’ll not only need that big goal to motivate you, but also some smaller study goals to keep you on track.
Set goals you can control, like turning your assignments in on time, or finishing an assignment in a set amount of time. These smaller goals help break up your work into tasks that you can easily accomplish. Other study goals might be:
- Finish outline of literature paper in 25 minutes.
- Complete 3 chemistry problems in 30 minutes.
- Turn in every assignment on time this week.
- Review French vocabulary for 20 minutes using flash cards.
4. Reach Out for Help to Manage Your Time
Think about who might be part of your team, to help with either the subject you’re learning or with accountability.
You might need help with sticking to your study plan, or staying organized. Or it could be with content, like how to write a solid thesis or how to solve a quadratic equation.
Some people who might be on your team to manage your time are:
- Friends and classmates
- Teachers (remember office hours)
- Parents, older siblings, or neighbors
- A tutor or Academic Coach
5. Study in Short Blocks of Time
Although you might have two hour’s worth of homework to do, avoid trying to get it done in a 2 or 3-hour block. Your brain gets tired without a break, which means it works less efficiently. Sometimes this means that it takes even longer to get your assignments done.
There are a few different methods to manage your time when it comes to studying. I outline a few of them here in another blog post.
A common strategy is the 30-minute rule. Engage yourself in your studies for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. These short energy bursts of focus tend to carry you through what can seem like a marathon of homework.
If you want to strategizing your own study plan and learn to manage your time effectively, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy put my knowledge and experience to work for you.