One of the most effective time management habits is to find some like-minded students who are as serious about and dedicated to academic achievement as you are. While the Lone Ranger approach might work for a few rare individuals, it is not ideal for most people. We all have strengths and weaknesses, different ways of looking at things, and a variety of aptitudes and insights. When we team up with others, our strengths are magnified, and our weaknesses are fortified. As part of a study group, you will be helping other members of the team in areas that you consider a breeze, while they will be helping you master subjects you are struggling with. You will reduce the total amount of time you need to spend studying, and you will be socializing too. The same goes for every member of the group. It truly is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
There are two approaches to take when forming a study group. The first one is to use the friends you already have as the nucleus of the group. This approach probably works best in high school, given the larger enrollments usually found in colleges and universities. If you take this approach, make sure that everyone is as committed as you are to making the regular study times productive. It is natural to have fun and socialize while studying, but too often that can become the focus of the gatherings, instead of studying. The other approach is to seek out people whose study habits and classroom demeanor are the marks of serious students. Most people who are committed to academic success are open to studying with others. In fact, you will probably find that they are already in a study group, and they may invite you to join their group.
Once you have formed a group, you will all need to agree on a regular study time and location. For college students, this will often be the campus library, the student union, or the common room in one of the dorms. For high school students, typical locations include a public library or a student’s home, which often rotates. As long as the location offers enough room for everyone and enough peace and quiet to study effectively, it is not that important where the study session takes place. The main thing is finding a place that is both convenient for everyone and suitable for studying. If that location is the local pizza joint, and the manager does not mind your studying there, that is fine. If you are not already part of a study group, start seeking one out today. In addition to providing a great way to manage your time, being a member of a study group will likely help you develop friendships that will stay with you the rest of your life.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
There are two kinds of time management tips: specific and general. They are all important in their own way, but sometimes it can be difficult to understand how the more general tips can affect your time management because they deal with the bigger picture. This tip will fall into that category. If you are going to achieve top academic success, you will need to manage your time effectively, and one of the major factors in how you spend your time is your social group. Choosing your friends wisely is important. The right friends can help you reach your goals of achieving academic success, while the wrong ones can be huge roadblocks on your path to success.
In every high school or college, there are three main categories of people when it comes to the different approaches they take toward the education. On one end of the spectrum, there are the slackers, those students who pretty much do not care so long as they maintain a minimum passing grade point average so that they can graduate. There are certainly a lower number of slackers in college than in high school, but you will still encounter a significant number of them at most colleges and universities in the U.S. On the other end of the spectrum are the achievers, students such as yourself who have made it a top priority to do as well as they possibly can in high school or college. The vast majority of students fall somewhere in between. They are not satisfied with doing just enough to avoid getting kicked out of school, but they are also not driven enough to go to great lengths to do their very best.
You should choose friends who are achievers if you want to be one of the top students in your class. It is simply a fact of life that you tend to be like the people you spend most of your time with. It is human nature to conform to your peer group so as not to be a misfit or a source of conflict. There may be a few bohemian, eclectic types who achieve success but spend most of their time associating with low achievers, but they are extremely rare (except in movies and TV shows). Who do high-powered CEOs spend their time with? Other top business people. The same goes for top athletes, and everyone else who is extremely successful at what they do. They all associate with people most like themselves. In fact, that is a major factor in how they got to be where they are. Even back when they were beginners who had not achieved a thing in their field, they began making friends with people who shared the same kinds of goals. You should do the same thing.
Form a Success Partnership
Effective time management is an essential part of your plan of reaching your academic success goals. There is simply no way you are going to achieve all you have set out for yourself if you do not have a plan for time management and powerful time management tactics. However, you can have the greatest plan in the world, and you can memorize every time management tip and shortcut known to man, but they will not do you a bit of good if you do not actually use them. And, frankly, for a lot of us, keeping our motivation and drive up for the duration of a semester or school year can be very difficult. That is why you should form a success partnership with a like-minded student; you can help each other stay on track and achieve your goals.
Study groups (which we discussed in another time management tip) are great, and you definitely need to be a part of one or more. A success partnership is a whole lot more than a study partner, however. In fact, you may not even spend much time with your success partner or even be on the same campus. When you form a success partnership, you are looking for one person to whom you will be accountable for sticking to schedules and planners, and you will do the same for them. Your success partner will be your coach, cheerleader, critic, adviser, counselor, and friend. You will perform the same functions for him or her. Almost all of us perform better when we are answerable to someone, and you are going to be answerable to your success partner.
Ideally, this person would be someone on the same campus who shares your academic goals. If your goal is to get into a top tier university, you should look for a partner who also wants to attend an elite college. If you hope to be accepted to medical school, then someone on your campus who hopes to do the same thing would be an ideal success partner. It is not always possible to find someone with the same goals who is also a good fit with your personality, though. You may have to broaden your search and look off campus to a trusted friend at another school. The main thing is that you find a partner who will spur you on and hold your feet to the fire, someone who will call your bluff when you are being lazy or making lame excuses for not staying on top of your studies and other obligations. You should meet with your success partner every week, whether in person or over the phone. Review your past week and discuss your upcoming week. Be completely honest with your partner, and tell him or her if you are discouraged or having trouble. He or she will do the same with you. Two heads are better than one, and you will improve both partners’ chances of achieving academic success. Do this as early as possible in your school career. It will pay big dividends.