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25 Ways Of Maximizing Now

The following Time Management skills are about when to study, where to study, how to deal with the rest of the world, and things you can ask yourself about your time.  Start by using two or three skills, and, when these become habits, gradually integrate a couple more.

When To Study

1. Study difficult (or boring) subjects first.  We tend to study what we like first, yet the courses we find the most difficult often require the most creative energy.  Save the subjects you enjoy for later.  Avoiding a subject may be an indication of a trouble area and require further action, such as talking to an instructor or counselor.

2. Be aware of your best time of day.  Some people learn best in the day hours.  Others study best during the night hours.  Schedule study time for you most difficult subjects during you optimal learning period. The key point is to find when learning feels best.

3. Use waiting time.  Waiting time adds up fast.  Five minutes between class, ten minutes waiting for a bus, etc.  Have short study tasks ready to do during these times.  These times can be used for reviewing class notes or notes on readings.

Where To Study

4. Use a regular study area.  Your body and your mind can recognize your environment.  When you use the same place to study, day after day, they become trained. This allows you to focus your attention more quickly. Avoid doing other activities in your study area.

5. Study where you will be alert.  Learning requires energy.  Studying where you become too comfortable can be detrimental to your concentration level.  Avoid beds, easy chairs, and sofas.

6. Use a library.  Libraries are designed for learning.

Dealing With The World

7. Pay attention to your attention.  Be conscious of breaks in concentration.  When your concentration breaks and thoughts interfere, notice the thoughts and let them go.

8. Agree with living mates about study time.  This includes roommates, neighbors, and parents.  Make the rules are clear, and be sure to follow them yourself.

9. Get off the phone.  The telephone is the ultimate interrupter.  People calling can not tell that you are studying and that they are distracting you.  Avoid this problem by studying in the library, unplugging the phone, or getting an answering machine.

10. Learn to say no.  This is the ultimate time-saver. Many people feel that it is rude to refuse a request. However, it can be done effectively and courteously. Your priority is to succeed as a student.

11. Hang a "do not disturb" sign on your door.  Using signs can relieve you from having to deal with interruptions.

12. Get ready the night before.  Completing a few simple tasks just before you go to bed can help you get in gear faster the next day.  For example, if you plan to work on a paper the next afternoon, get your materials, such as dictionary, paper, pencils, and notes, together.

13. Call ahead.  The phone can save you hours in wasted trips and wrong turns.

14. Avoid noise distractions.  To promote concentration, avoid studying in front of the television and turn off the stereo.  Many students feel that they study better with background noise, and that may be true.  However, silence is the best form of music for study.  Some noise may be out of your control.  To combat this, study when your living environment is usually quiet.

15. Notice how other misuse your time.  Avoid certain people that consistently interrupt your study time.

Things To AsK Yourself

16. Ask: What is one task I can accomplish toward my goal?  Break down larger projects into smaller tasks. Accomplish one of these smaller tasks first, in order to get you started.

17. Ask: Am I being too hard on myself?  Do not become too frustrated if you are falling behind in your goals.  Be positive and optimistic when analyzing your progress.

18. Ask: Is perfection necessary for the task? Sometimes a small mistake can ruin an entire project. Computers are notorious for turning small mistakes into monsters.  However, you do not have to apply high standards of perfection when performing smaller tasks, such as reviewing notes.  You can accept lower standards only where they are appropriate.

19. Ask: Would I pay myself for what I am doing right now?  Be aware of unfocused time that diminish productivity.

20. Ask: Can I do just one more thing during the day?

21. Ask: Am I making time for things that are important but not urgent?  Exercise is important but not urgent.  We sometimes neglect areas that are important because we are too busy with urgent events. Spending all your time on urgent events will leave you drained and frustrated.

22. Ask: Can I delegate this?  Instead of taking on complicated tasks alone, draw on the talents of others.

23. Ask : How did I just waste time?  Take time to review your actions and note specific ways you wasted time.  People often operate by habit.  When you are aware of the ways you waste time, you will be more likely to catch yourself next time.

24. Ask: Could I find the time if I really wanted to? You can always find more time if you wanted to.  If offered large sums of money, would you be more inclined to find the time to study?  Remember that when it comes to school, large sums of money are involved.

25. Ask: Am I willing to promise it?  Give it your word.  When your word is on the line, it is amazing the time and energy you will find to accomplish a task.  Promise to get something done.