Many students often get overwhelmed when they realise the magnitude of school work they have to cover, while trying to balance good grades, enough sleep and making time for the things that truly matter to you like friends, family, relationships, hobbies and even work.

But you cannot expect to do well in school, have a great social life and get enough sleep without discipline. The point of everything here is being able to be honest with yourself, establish your priorities and sacrifice certain unnecessary commitments.

1. Get a planner: To be disciplined, you need to be organised and that means planning. Get a paper planner, an organisation app or even use the Note app on your phone; just something accessible and easy. You can make weekly and daily plans.

For weekly plans, you should write out all the days of the week and put down the major events you have or want to complete on each day. For example, on Sunday, you may have to go to church; on Wednesday, attend a meeting etc. Most times, you already have an idea and can work with the constant tasks you have that week. You can also move the duties around to make space on the hectic days.

For daily plans, study your school time table and and fit in your other tasks in specific times. Quick tip here is to set alarms if there is a specific task for a particular time. Check out my post on “How to Stay Organised” where I talked about how to plan properly and organise your school resources.

2. Save time during school hours: Assess your timetable the day before and fit in little tasks to do when you will be free. For example, research online for an assignment during a lecture you know you won’t pay attention to instead of just scrolling through Instagram.

You can also plan the rest of your day, listen to a podcast, reply all your messages and emails, watch or save videos to study on YouTube during your breaks or during your commute home. This takes a lot of intentionality but doing these seemingly minute things will save you time later.

Furthermore, ask questions from your teachers and classmates if you aren’t sure of something. You can even ask someone from your study group to explain a confusing topic to you. This way, you will avoid unnecessary mistakes, get better grades and save more time for other things.

3. Be intentional about your after-school hours: You should have planned this time before and maybe now make little adjustments with new tasks when you get home. Once again, avoid spending time doing nothing or just scrolling endlessly on social media. Also, only go out or spend time with friends when you are done with your tasks for the day.

However, try not to be too rigid with your time. Planning here is basically a framework to avoid wasting time. If your work can be postponed to another day, postpone it. Delegate duties if you can and ask for help all the time. And of course, be prepared to help others when they need you too.

4. Use evidence-based study techniques: The key to having more time for other things apart from school is studying properly. It has been established over and over again that studying for long doesn’t equate studying effectively. Therefore, incorporate active recall and spaced repetition into your routine and slash your study time.

Definitely use online resources. I’m a big advocate of finding things that can help you study so you spend the least amount of time trying to understand something. Check out my post on how YouTube has helped me in medical school. You can also form small study groups, not only to share knowledge (learn new concepts and also get some quick active recall), but also to socialise.

Final tip is to adjust all of this to your way of life depending on your commitments, responsibilities and resources. For example, I still have online classes, so I don’t have to spend extra time on the journey to and from school.

If something is really important to you, you will make time for it. Don’t fill up your schedule that you have no free time for anything else. In fact, the reason why you are creating more time is to feel better and spend it doing things you love, not to fill it up with more activities. So, don’t be afraid to say no to certain things and make the right decisions for yourself everyday.

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6 Responses

  1. Yinka says:

    I have learnt a lot.
    Thank you!

  2. Yinka says:

    I learnt a lot.
    Thank you!

  3. ELVIS OKAFOR says:

    I like your articles. You’re a good writer

  4. Sixtus onyebuchi says:

    I love you article, keep it up

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