Study Smart, Not Hard: Time Management Tips For Students


“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.” – Mark Twain

“Time is what we want most, but what we use is the worst.” – William Penn

Time management is a skill that can make or break a student’s academic success. In today’s fast-paced world, students are often overwhelmed by the demands of their coursework, extracurricular activities, and personal lives. But fear not, for mastering the art of time management can help you not only excel academically but also lead a balanced and fulfilling life. As the saying goes, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst” (William Penn). In this blog, we will explore and break down the importance of time management for students, share some simple and effective strategies, and provide valuable insights to help you study smart, not hard.

The Importance of Time Management And Key Ways To Optimise It

Academic Success

Time management is the cornerstone of academic achievement. By allocating your time wisely, you can ensure that you have enough hours to study, complete assignments, and prepare for exams without feeling overwhelmed. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Lost time is never found again.”

Reduced Stress

Effective time management reduces stress levels. When you have a clear plan and allocate sufficient time for your tasks, you are less likely to experience last-minute rushes and panic. This leads to a healthier, less stressful student life.

Work-Life Balance

Good time management allows you to strike a balance between your academic commitments and personal life. You can enjoy leisure activities, spend time with friends and family, and pursue hobbies without feeling guilty or stressed about pending assignments.

Strategies for Effective Time Management

Set Clear Goals

Start by defining your short-term and long-term academic goals. Having a clear sense of what you want to achieve will help you prioritise your tasks effectively. As Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

Create a Schedule

Develop a weekly or monthly schedule that outlines your classes, study sessions, and other commitments. Make sure to allocate specific time slots for each task. A well-structured schedule is your roadmap to success.

Prioritise Tasks

Use the Eisenhower Matrix to categorise tasks into four categories: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important. Focus your energy on the tasks that are both urgent and important.

Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination is the enemy of time management. To overcome it, break your tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and tackle them one at a time. Remember Mark Twain’s words, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning.”

Use Technology Wisely: Leverage Technology To Your Advantage

There are various apps and tools available that can help you organise your schedule, set reminders, and track your progress. Apps like Trello and Google Calendar can be invaluable.

Take Breaks

Don’t forget to schedule short breaks during your study sessions. Taking regular breaks can improve focus and productivity. As Pablo Picasso said, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”

Learn to Say No

It’s important to strike a balance between academic and social commitments. While socialising is essential, learn to say no when you need to prioritise your studies. Warren Buffett’s advice is relevant here: “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”

Review and Adjust

Periodically review your time management strategies. What works for you today may not work in the future. Be open to adjusting your schedule and techniques as needed to optimise your productivity.

Get Support

It isn’t easy to master the skill of breaking down all the things you need to do into manageable chunks. Many adults still find it hard to master that skill in their professional and personal lives. So don’t hesitate to get some extra help, often it can be very useful to have an accountability buddy to help you stay on track. If there isn’t someone you know who would be the best person to help you with that, our tutors are able to act as mentors and accountability buddies to help you stay on track. We offer study skills support either alongside subject support or as standalone general study skills support. Click here to see more.


In the pursuit of academic excellence and a fulfilling student life, time management is one of your greatest allies. It helps you make the most of your precious hours and achieve your goals without succumbing to stress and burnout. As you embark on your journey to study smart, remember the wisdom of these famous quotes and the simple, memorable strategies we’ve discussed. With determination and effective time management, you can conquer any academic challenge that comes your way. So, seize the day and make the most of your time, for as Victor Kiam aptly put it, “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.”

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