Time management skills

Time management  skills

Time Management skills

Becoming a super successful student.

Time management is personal management and personal management is life management.

This post is loosely based on Brian Tracy’s lessons on personal time management.

To be successful, you have to do things differently.

Here are some Proven  time management principles that will help you as a student and beyond.

 Setting Goals

The most important aspect of Time management is goals. You may not be thinking of career goals at this time but your goals should include study and self-development goals.

Make a list, write down your study goals and arrange them in a weekly planner. I use a modified version of the 7 habits planner.

If you don’t make  lists, you will not be able to stay focused and you will give in to distractions. Students these days face the dilemma of having social media and games and T.V, competing for their attention and concentration. So make a list, write it down and you will see that once you are able to follow through, you will have a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Plans and Priorities

Making a list enables you to see your goals and gives you clarity. Once you’ve written your list you are able to prioritize your work in other of importance. It helps you set priorities and focus on what is important first, for instance, giving priority to upcoming tests and homework whose due dates are near. That way you do not work on an irrelevant task. You are able to use your time well. And is able to focus on what’s important and of value to you at that time. You will not spend time on social media when you have a time set out to study.

It is not enough to just write down a list of goals. You have to be very specific with your goals for the day. For instance, if your list reads math, Language arts, science, and history; you have to specify what you want to study for each of these subjects and at a set time. If for instance, let’s assume you are studying math, specify the topic, let’s say constant of proportionality or Ratios and Rates, then assign a time to focus on the topic. You may print out your worksheets or start your homework  or just watch a video lesson on the topic.

Note : Start with your top priority tasks.

Successful students use their time well.


Designate a quite clutter free space to study. While some people like to study with music, I really don’t recommend it.

Concentration is essential to success. It means focusing single-mindedly on a task from start to finish. According to Brian Tracy, Time and Motion studies shows that if you start a task and put it down, pick it up again, put it down, it will take you more than 500% more effort to complete it than if you started and stayed with it till its finished.

Do first things first. Stay focused on one task at a time and complete  it.  In the book, How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less,   Cal Newport talks more about the importance of concentration, focus and deep work( the ability to focus without distraction). It is the opposite of Pseudo-work ( Working while distracted.). Brian Johnson also sums this concept up nicely in his  youtube video

When you study, put down your study materials and then quiz yourself or teach someone what you’ve learned. That is how you truly know that you have the knowledge and understanding of the material.

According to Cal Newport, If you don’t quiz yourself and you just read the material, it gives you the illusion that you understand the content. He encourages students to quiz themselves without reference to their work and that way students are able to see where they are weak and focus on that area.

This applies to little kids too. when they learn a concept encourage your children to explain  what they’ve learned and let them practice using several worksheets. I have a list of very useful websites here.

For more in-depth  information on these points,  watch Brian  Johnson’s video on YouTube . He highlights the key points in Cal Newport’s book . I also recommend that you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Steven Covey.


Everyone deals with procrastination at some point of another. The best way to deal with procrastination is to break down the tasks and tackle them little by little. If you have a project to complete don’t wait until three days before the due date, you will end up with mediocre work. Always strive for excellence and break tasks down, that way you can apportion a small part to tackle every day and when you are not pressured for time, you are able to put in your best work. It is a good proactive to write down motivational quotes and refer to them to remind you of your goals. It helps you stay focused on your goals and procrastinate less.  Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy.


The key to time management is self-discipline, and self-discipline is the key to success.

Discipline is doing the right thing whether you feel like it or not. It’s about letting your values and not your feelings dictate the pace of your life.

When it is time to Study, don’t procrastinate, follow your plan, work with intensity, persevere, avoid interruptions and time wasters.

Create a routine and study in time blocks. Set up a time frame( this varies per student and age of the child) and stick with it. Turn off the phone, iPod, and tablet. You may set your phone to silence and let your phone calls go to a voice message.  If you cannot work with complete silence you may play classical music but not from your phone.

Pray before you start studying and pray when you finish.

Finally,  have a growth mindset, no matter how many times you get off track do not be discouraged. Continue working on setting goals and making plans till it becomes a skill you’ve mastered. Set out time to review your work on a consistent basis and always work with a plan.


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