As November is approaching, the season of exams is also around the corner. Whether you are a junior form student who just started your new adventure or a high school student who is cramming for good grades in public exams, it is safe to assume that most of us are very stressed and busy studying.
Therefore, having good time management can surely relieve some of your academic stress.
So, what is time management? If implemented effectively, time management is an essential skill that enables you in organising projects and various tasks efficiently ahead of schedule. As a result, you can accomplish your goals with great satisfaction. However, one should be aware that every individual has their own techniques or tools that work well for them to meet different situations. Some may use calendars or diaries, while others will opt for mobile or desktop Apps to track their tasks and progress.
As one of the essential components of well-being, time management also shows that there is a direct correlation with mental health. If a person has better time management, they will be more productive and have more time to do other things they enjoy. They become happier and are more relaxed, which leads to healthier mental health status and vice versa. Thus, managing your time well is a good option if you want to do well in your studies, without stressing out or draining your brain cells too much.
How to have better time management? I have a few suggestions that might be helpful to get yourself back in a healthy mental, emotional, and physical state:
1. Set Boundaries
In today’s challenging world, we have far too many tasks to handle and need to be completed ahead of schedule. It’s important for us to set boundaries which can provide clarity, avoid confusion and misunderstanding. It’s equally crucial to set boundaries early in order to separate your school work and other matters, such as social life. Setting boundaries also comes with learning how to say “no”. It’s not easy to say “no”, especially to the people you care about. It’s better to be frank and honest instead of remaining in ambiguity that often leads to wrong expectations. That’s how you can start developing healthy boundaries, manage expectations and avoid unnecessary distractions. By clearly stating your boundaries, you are committed to your tasks, letting people around you know when you are available for social life.
2. Create a to-do list & prioritise
Work out a to-do list for the week and then prioritise them according to urgency, so you know how to schedule the week. You will feel great and motivated when you complete and cross off tasks on the to-do list one by one. Most people would use their calendars or diaries to schedule their day. Everyone has their own unique stressors, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach in setting your timetable. On the other hand, it is crucial to plan well ahead and be realistic about your timeline for completing the tasks. If you overestimate your timeline, but could not accomplish the goals, then you would feel bad, discouraged and thus negatively affecting your mental health.
3. Schedule me-time
We are living in a modern, inter-connected and fast-paced society. Life is overwhelming and can be very stressful. As such, managing time can be a big challenge,but incorporating a little self-care within the week will help. Self-care is short and healthy breaks, which are necessary to balance our lifestyle. For instance, taking up yoga, working out at the gym, reading books and hanging out with friends and family members may help you destress, rejuvenate and feel refreshed to tackle anything that life throws at you. Remember, not to get distracted too much. As such, discipline is very important. The more efficiently you manage your time, the more at peace you will become and your mental health will remain in a thriving state.
Apart from the tips mentioned above, there are other techniques that might improve time management skills. However, the actual first and most important step comes within you.
Change can be difficult, but persevere and commit. When you are struggling and feel like your mental health is not where it should be, take the time to re-evaluate how you manage your time. It’s okay to change and fine tune. We all undergo similar obstacles and struggles regardless of which education system we are in.
By developing effective time management skills, we will eventually achieve the objectives laid in front of us and overcome the obstacles and challenges along the way.
“Do you manage your time well?”. McLean Hospital, April 23, 2022,
Joycelyn Cervantes. “How is time management important for your mental health?”. Painted
Brain, January 22, 2020,