If we want to succeed in our academic activities, developing a study plan is a good option. Since it will give us a better approach to the objectives, we want to achieve.
But, for the same, it is necessary to correct the planning and structure necessary for establishing objectives, for which, if we want this to be successful, we must make it on real bases of our time. The following is a proposal of a study plan and its advantages and tools.
What is a Study Plan?
The study plan is nothing more than a well-structured organization of time, with a timetable distributed among the subjects corresponding to the academic plan and the day we will spend on them. It is even possible to elaborate a structured study plan for a single subject or for the most difficult ones for the student.
This study plan does not necessarily have to remain immutable, and it can mutate depending on the student’s needs, which will emerge and become visible as we execute the plan. That is to say, and we will be in the phase of trial and error until we find the plan that best fits.
Plan for good planning
Organize the work material: This will allow you to waste as little time as possible, that is, while everything is at hand when you sit down to study or create, depending on the subject in question, having everything at hand will avoid the least possible distractions, which invite you to procrastinate. For example, if you need thematic essays for your work, we advise you to look for them in advance on resources like https://www.wowessays.com/.
Make a real distribution of time: Remember to be realistic when creating your schedule. A very rigid schedule will only cause you to become fatigued and end up giving up. Therefore, set small goals and allow yourself a short break once completed. This break can consist of preparing a coffee or checking your WhatsApp to see if you have left a message. Such as in the Pomodoro technique allows you to pause for this kind of thing between blocks of time.
Take into account the difficulties of each subject: Remember what we talked about before regarding time planning so that the plan is successful. That is, you cannot assign the same amount of time to the more difficult subjects as you do to the less difficult ones.
And even in this case, you can make use of the Pomodoro technique, which is flexible in terms of the length of the Pomodoro block according to the difficulty of the task to be performed.
Make the plan at your own pace: Remember, when we talk about realism, a plan designed by your study partner will surely be feasible for him but not for you since both of you have different life rhythms and needs.
Alternate subjects: Even when a subject requires a lot of time, remember to alternate them with others, and thus, you will avoid the brain being saturated with the same information and ending up getting fatigued and losing interest. This will be not only convenient but also fun at a certain point.
Now, if you elaborate a plan for a particular subject, don’t forget that the same subject has many points, so use that to make the study something much more dynamic.
Start with the most complicated tasks: Do not fall into the trap of starting with the least complicated tasks since these also require some time, and by the time you devote to the most necessary ones, the less complicated ones will have taken all your energy.
Delimit the agents of distraction: For your study plan to be successful, you must delimit which are your biggest agents of distraction. Such as checking WhatsApp, Instagram, and other social networks.
Or watching an episode of your favorite series, and without realizing it, continue with one another until you realize that the whole day has gone, which will have taken your time and your greatest energy peak. The important thing is to identify them and put them on a list. In fact, you can add them as a reward for your work.
Online Organization and Planning Tools
Undoubtedly, the Internet offers you a series of tools to plan your time that, if you use them, would make your life easier. These tools are such as Google Calendar, Trello, or Todoist. We detail them below:
Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a very simple tool, and surely you have already used it. This tool not only allows you to schedule your events by date but also to have reminders for each of them.
Besides, it allows you to create work teams with which you can share your agenda and thus have a better planning of time as a team.
Trello: Trello is a visual workboard that allows you to manage and categorize any project or workflow. It can be customized according to the needs of the team.
Todoist: Todoist is a work tool that allows you to fill your to-do list for the day. From reviewing a series of emails to other more complex tasks with their respective schedules. This will allow you to have a better visualization of your pending tasks and, consequently, better time management.
New study plan
Remember what we said before when we made a study plan? It does not have to be successful the first time. It can mutate as many times as necessary until we find the one that fits our needs. Keep in mind one thing: failing in an attempt is nothing more than trial and error until we find the perfect plan.
But, this trial and error will allow us to plan again, for which it is necessary to identify where we failed and, thus, not to repeat the same mistakes. For which it is convenient to evaluate the following points:
Evaluate your study habits: Analyze what did not work in the first test, perhaps the schedule you chose. Does it work better during the day or at night, and at what time do you have more distractions? Or which of these distractions are unavoidable? That is to say, of all the distractions of the day, you will have to discriminate which are necessary and which are not.
For the above, I invite you to get to know the Eisenhower decision matrix. This will help you define in a chart the tasks that are a priority to those that are not or that are important but not urgent so that you can better manage your time.
Evaluate your personal schedule: This is one of the most important things, although it may seem insignificant. By having a record of your daily activities, you will be able to define more clearly how much time you dedicate to each one and, in this way, elaborate a study plan that best suits your needs.
Set a schedule: It is essential to establish a schedule, no matter how small it may be; this is a non-negotiable point, no matter how difficult your personal schedule may be. You can start with a small schedule, allowing you to create a small routine, which will become a habit.
Set yourself goals: However small they may be, set yourself goals so that you can achieve them little by little. Although they may seem insignificant, your brain will identify them as achievements, and this, in turn, will give you the motivation you need to set new and bigger ones.
Stick to the Plan: Finally, set yourself a goal to accomplish this study plan, and you will gain the confidence you need to set yourself on the path to personal achievement.
Recommendations for better time management
There are many strategies to manage your time and be able to fulfill your study plan. Remember that you will encounter many distracting factors along the way. Among them is procrastination.
Procrastination is nothing more than a response to the stress caused by this or that task. And, we give all our energy to activities that, although they may be important, are not necessarily urgent or a priority.
For this reason, I invite you to learn about the Pomodoro technique and the Eisenhower decision matrix, which will allow you to establish rules for yourself, and at the same time, train your brain to achieve your goals.
And, far from what you think, these are tools that will not only help you to better manage your time but also to better manage your emotions. Such as the anxiety produced by finishing a task in a certain amount of time.
Here is a brief reference of what the Pomodoro technique and the Eisenhower decision matrix are all about. So that you can make them part of your life and be on your way to achieving your study plan.
The Pomodoro technique consists of distributing time in small blocks of 25 minutes, known as the Pomodoro block.
And each 25-minute block will have a 5-minute break, except for the final Pomodoro, which can be a break of 15 to 30 minutes. This will be understood as a reward for your work.
Although it has many detractors, this technique has a large number of followers since the Pomodoro technique allows the brain to exercise a series of training for concentration, which will be rewarded with small breaks of rest (5 minutes).
These rest periods can be distributed between rest or for those tasks that are not urgent or necessary to be attended, such as checking WhatsApp, Instagram, or other networks.
Eisenhower Decision Matrix
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix consists of a chart that will allow us to establish the degree of importance of daily tasks or obligations.
The four quadrants are to establish the important, urgent tasks, the important non-urgent ones, and, at the bottom of the chart, the non-important ones that can be delegated and the non-important ones that can be eliminated.
These two techniques will help you to manage your time better and to learn to visualize which tasks are really worth your time and which are not. Remember, when making a study or work plan, you will have to make small sacrifices to achieve your goals.
Maybe the movie you like is important for your entertainment and that little oxygen you need for the day-to-day, but if you set a goal, and this at first only robs you of time, you can classify them at least in a margin of time of those non-urgent activities, and leave it for later.
Remember that while you adjust to the plan, you are in a training period to form a habit for the future, then later, you can make certain concessions as long as you achieve your goals.
Finally, we can conclude that a study plan is not easy at the beginning but is satisfactory as we get closer to our goal. Which, in this case, is nothing more than to elaborate a perfect study plan that fits our time.
But, at the same time, this will be training us in such a way that the executed plan will be changing us in our routines and habits more positively and efficiently.
Such as the tools mentioned throughout the article, the Pomodoro technique, and the Eisenhower decision matrix. These are tools used in organizations to build high-performance teams.
And they have proven over time to have effective training and bring out the greatest possible potential of the people who dare to use them. Dare to use these tools, and you will see how procrastination time will disappear from your life, as well as the anxiety it produces.