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Necessary Time Management Skills For Essay Writing

In this article we want to outline five time management skills that you can (and should) utilize to maximize your productivity. Writing is hard. And, to be honest, writing is boring. You’ll want to take a nap. You’ll want to check your phone. You’ll want to hop on Facebook. You’ll want to go see a movie. Finally, you'll want to buy essay. Even when you’re writing, the words don’t always come easily – and you have to be on a roll to make that word count go up.

Time management

You can’t get in that “zone” if you can’t focus. So, to make your life easier and to make this whole process go faster, follow these instructions.

1. Turn off your cell phone and exit any social media pages.

If you aren’t comfortable turning off your cell phone completely (maybe you’re waiting for an important message, phone call, or email), you can also enable “Do Not Disturb” mode. Accessed through your “Settings” tab, this mode will ensure that you don’t receive notifications while you’re working. You can always check your phone briefly, but it won’t bother you with constant chirping and ringing.

Also, when it comes to social media, you can fight your addiction with more than just determination. There are actually applications and browser extensions designed to handle this issue for you. They will block Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other website that frequently becomes a distraction.

2. Take frequent breaks – at least once every forty-five minutes.

It isn’t healthy for your brain to be working too hard for too long. At some point, you’ll need to take a step back and breathe. It’s best to do this once every forty-five minutes. Don’t pick up other work. Don’t do anything productive. Just take a deep breath and let your mind rest. You can take a shower, stretch, or make use of your favorite yoga poses. After five or ten minutes, you can sit back down to work.

The trick, however, is to make sure that you don’t take a break that’s too long. If you spent too much time focusing on other things, it will be nearly impossible to focus on your work again. Play around with it. Try setting an alarm on your phone. You can also make use of “Forest”, an application that allows you to plant a tree each time you work for longer than half an hour without accessing your phone. After an afternoon of studying or writing, you’ll have an entire forest to admire.

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3. Switch between subjects regularly.

After those forty-five minute breaks, turn your attention to something else. Just like it isn’t healthy to focus too hard for too long, it isn’t efficient to focus on the same thing for too long. For example, let’s pretend that you have an essay to write and a homework assignment to complete for another class. You should work on your essay for forty-five minutes, take a short break, then start working on your other homework assignment.

This movement between subjects keeps your brain on its toes. You’ll feel more alert and better prepared for your workload. Humans aren’t meant to multitask – and that’s not what we’re asking you to do – but they also aren’t designed to be machines. Sometimes, you need a change. Give yourself that luxury. You’ll appreciate it.

4. Don’t wait until the last minute.

You lose the luxury of taking breaks, switching to other subjects, and planting trees when you insist upon waiting until the night before an essay is due to begin the writing process. Nothing we teach in the next three sections can be done in a single night. That would be an impossible task. At least, impossible to do correctly.

Time and time again, college students make this mistake. They think that a strong cup of coffee, an energy drink, and an all-nighter will be enough to write an entire paper from start to finish. This simply isn’t true. Your grade will reflect your effort. Remember that. We know how easy it can be to forget, especially when procrastination sets in.

5. Give yourself enough time to complete the task.

That’s not to say that writing an essay should take a week – or even four days. In fact, from start to finish, an essay should take approximately six or seven hours to complete. This includes all three steps of the process.

However, we suggest that you spread out those hours, because writing an essay is also very stressful. You have to look at your paper with a clear mind. You have to be able to set it down for a couple of days, then pick it up for the editing process. Anything pushed faster than that is going to produce subpar work (at least, subpar in comparison to what you could have produced if you’d waited).

If you spend two hours at the library on Monday generation bibliography and completing step one, two hours in the computer lab on Tuesday writing your outline and completing step two, and two hours at home on Thursday editing your paper and completing step three, you’ll be in good shape.

Why? Because you’ve given yourself enough time to write your essay without that overwhelming anxiety hanging over your head. 

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