6 Reliable Time-Saving Strategies for Stressed Students
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Time management is a challenge for everyone. Whether you’re a student studying for your holistic health degree, a certified herbalist, a teacher, or a stay-at-home, there’s always more to do. Between assignments and class time, work commitments, family obligations, and basic quality of life chores (someone has to do the laundry!), it can be a lot. But, mastering some tried and tested time-saving strategies before you’re in the professional world can save a lot of stress today and tomorrow.
This is especially true if you’re taking classes online for an online holistic nutrition degree, spa management course, or another online program. Online courses typically offer more flexibility than traditional, in-person classrooms, which can be attractive if you already have a packed schedule.
But, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan. After all, you’re not in school just to “fit it into” your schedule. You’re studying botanical medicine or for your aromatherapy certificate, for example, to make a successful future for yourself and your family … and maybe to make a difference in the world, too!
Here are 6 time-saving strategies to help stressed students become success stories:
#1 Decide how important it is to be a student.
The first step in a successful learning experience is to evaluate your time and your priorities.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Where does being a student fit into your life?
- We all wear lots of hats in our daily lives. What are your professional and family obligations?
- Do you volunteer or take other classes?
- What about having a social life?
- How much sleep do you need each night to be a well-functioning and happy person?
Consider factors like these as you plan your participation in your courses. Determine how much time you have to study, and plan your course schedule accordingly.
Plan when you will study: in big chunks of time on the weekends or some each day? In the morning, during your lunch break, or at night? (Warning: if you’re a nighttime study fiend, don’t study in bed! Here's why.)
#2 Stay organized.
Whether you make piles or lists, write things on your hand or in a paper planner, figure out what works for you and do it. There’s a lot to remember and track.
#3 Let your family know when you’re studying … in advance.
Make a sign that says “Do Not Disturb - Class in Session!” Hang it outside the door, or on the side of your computer while studying. Let everyone know what times you plan to be working.
This allows friends and family to help support you. It’s important for them to respect the time you’ve scheduled for study. They should be allies and equally invested in your success.
Block out your time on the family calendar so family members know when not to disturb you.
Let everyone know that this is your time to study and that you should only be disturbed in emergencies.
#4 Know what is expected of you in your courses.
Figure out how much time your professors expect you to spend working on your course. This can include time dedicated to reading assignments, written assignment, discussion assignments, and real-time lectures, to name a few. If you’re working with an admissions advisor, they should be able to share this information with you well before the start of the term so you can plan. But, you can also typically find this information on your college website.
Once you’re in your course(s) and get a feel for how it works, determine a benchmark for how much time it will take you to complete all requires each week. Use a calendar to track your responsibilities (set deadlines for each assignment and put your assignment deadlines into your calendar). Visibility is key!
Make sure that you will have time when your courses most demand it, such as before your final exam. This will take some planning, and may mean trying to restructure your life or schedule during certain periods. But, whatever you do, don’t do any of these 5 foolproof ways to fail finals week. ;)
#5 Be careful not to fall behind.
Honestly, life happens. So, it’s almost inevitable that at some point during your studies something unanticipated, or outside of your control is going to affect your ability to get it all done.
This where planning really comes into play!
You will likely have a lot of work to complete in your course each week, and you need to be intentional and plan. Saving work for the last minute is a sure way to run into trouble.
If procrastination becomes a habit, you may fall further and further behind. If this happens, the quality of your work is likely to suffer. And, in the process, you may feel more stressed and overwhelmed than you’d prefer.
Here’s a short video on how to turn perilous procrastination into productivity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvcx7Y4caQE
#6 Sleep is important.
Many people associate “college” with cram sessions and all-nighters, but your experience doesn't have to feature such heroics. Some of the most successful students establish steady routines.
We want you to get plenty of sleep. You need sleep. Study after study confirms that a regular, good night’s sleep plays an integral role in learning, memory, and focus. [1, 2] Skimp on sleep, and performing well in class will become more difficult. And that’s on top of the many effects sleep has on general health and wellness. Need some help getting your full 7-9 hour of sleep? This blog post can help.
So, whatever system you ultimately arrive at to stay organized and on pace in your classes …be well, and get plenty of sleep.
Are you inspired to get into classes so you can create a study schedule of your own? Or maybe your goal is to coach others in time management on their path to total health and wellness. ACHS has accredited, online programs in holistic health, aromatherapy, health coaching, and more.
 Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School. (2007, December 18). Sleep, learning, and memory. Retrieved from http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/learning-memory
 Simon, H. (2012, February 15). Sleep helps learning, memory. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-helps-learning-memory-201202154265
Disclosure of Material Connection: This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.