The Importance of a Study Plan: Why Should You Have One?
College students know that feeling – the heavy academic load starts from the first days of September. There is a mountain of work waiting for you this year and managing all of your tasks is a chore. If you are still a high school student, then you have more time to learn how to do a good study plan and avoid missed deadlines as a college learner.
The trick is that managing your college duties is not the same as managing your high school life. There are more things to do, and these tasks are significantly harder. What is more, new distractions and extra-curricular activities appear—new classmates, college clubs, sports, parties, etc. Your time is in your hands, and you should manage it wisely to make the most of your college day. Learn to balance your education and personal life, and you won’t have to sacrifice anything.
The lack of time issue
As a college student, you will experience a lack of time problems regularly. Two major factors cause it: procrastination and wrong estimation. To tell the truth, while we all are used to keep our tasks on ice, the wrong estimation of your time is a more severe problem. This happens when you think that you need more or less time to complete the tasks and your suggestions turn to be incorrect.
The problem with poor estimation ends up badly – you find it hard to catch up, your grades become lower, and stress becomes your everyday norm. Emotional burnout and depression step on the stage, and you end up changing a major or even coming back home. However, don’t you panic – there is a way to prevent such a scenario.
Stress and depressed mood decrease your productivity. When such states overwhelm you, no matter how hard you try and how smart you are, studying becomes a real torture. It is almost impossible to focus on the materials and work with them appropriately in case you are depressed. A study plan will help you struggle with the pressure and do things properly.
Most students avoid arranging a study plan because schedules seem like putting the handcuffs on. However, you don’t need to worry about that – plans don’t ruin the beauty of spontaneity and creativity. In fact, they give you more freedom and flexibility. A plan gives you information about your current tasks, which means that you can distinguish your free hours and have fun without worries.
How to make a good study plan?
An efficient study plan is the one you build with attention. Consider the details and cover such questions as:
- What is the total amount of time you have?
When you are at college, every minute matters. There are so many routine things to do – classes, homework, cooking, hobbies, clubs, parties, etc. Track the time you usually need for particular activities and know exactly how many hours you have.
- What do you need to do?
Make a list of all assignments and activities you currently have. Know which tasks do you have for every class and organize them regarding deadlines.
- How much time do you need to complete every assignment?
It is hard to say whether you have enough time for your tasks in case you don’t know how much time you need. Making a plan is not a guessing game – estimate the amount of time you need and learn in the process. Improve your estimations and make them more accurate as you go.
- When are you going to get each task done?
Devote concrete hours and days for your tasks. The time you choose to study is essential – it affects your productivity. Know the hours when you are the most efficient and use them smartly.
- How are you going to complete your tasks?
Try studying in different ways. For example, you may find it more productive to complete large chunks of work and then have a long break. Or else, you might be more efficient when you do small breaks between small tasks. Distinguish the strategy that makes you feel more comfortable.
- Where are you going to work on your tasks?
It is important to separate your environments: have different places to study and to have rest. When you mix these activities, more distractions come in your way. It is hard to relax when you try to rest at the same place where you usually work. And vice versa – it is not that easy to focus when you study on your bed.
The right environment, quiet atmosphere, and relevant strategies will help you build a nice plan. You should know your habits and the way your brain perceives different approaches to work. Reflect on your actions and track your states. Use these general tips and adjust them to your mindset to reach the best result.
A study plan helps you keep the rhythm and stay tuned all the time. You know exactly what to do, how to complete it, and when. Having things organized smartly means getting predictable results. When you have a full picture of your activities and know the best ways to deal with them, there are more opportunities to adjust your plans and become even more productive in the future. With a consistent schedule, you will get better grades spending less time and effort. What is more, stress won’t bother you anymore – you will control things and your entire life. The sense of control is truly amazing.