SOUTHERN CAPE NEWS - With the start of the final school term and year-end exams only a few weeks away, learners would be well advised to take stock of their academic situation and ensure that they manage their time effectively.
The serious return to the books for arguably the most important few weeks of the learners school career, requires eliminating all distractions, and budgeting your time to ensure you stay in control of your revision and ultimate success, education experts say.
"In the same way that the proverbial penny saved is considered a penny earned, so time saved and invested in what really matters now can be considered an investment in the learner's future success," says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education.
Payne says although learners should still make time to lead a balanced life - getting enough exercise and spending quality time with family and friends - they should be more careful than ever about not allowing time leakage.
Exercise, for instance, can be done with friends.
Family time can be built around mealtimes.
She advises the following steps for rescuing the minutes that turn into hours and ultimately days - minutes spent on brainless activities instead of brain-building ones:
Consider using the 'pomodoro' technique when studying
Having a study roster is one thing. Sticking to it is another.
The pomodoro (tomato timer) technique is a fantastic and very empowering tool to get things done in a focused way, and can feel almost like a game, says Payne.
The way it works, is to sit down to your task with determination, set a timer to 25 minutes and work intensely until the buzzer goes.
Then get up, take a break of 5 minutes (do some stretches or take a quick walk, but don't check Facebook!) and get back to your books for another round.
After every 4 rounds, take a break of about 30 minutes during which your time is your own to use as you please.
Resolve to go cold turkey on social media for a week
It really does sound harder than it is, says Payne. She says that if you remove social media distractions and their temptations completely for a set period, your devices will soon lose their time-sucking lustre.
You'll also find that when you go back after your self-imposed period of abstinence, you would not have missed out on much at all - almost like going back to a soap or reality show after not watching it for a while.
On the pay-off side, your brain is likely to become much sharper for the experience, and potentially even less inclined to go back to unproductive time-sapping activities by default.
Sort out your workspace
Find a space where you can sit down and get to work immediately and optimally.
Have all your books and tools ready, so that you don't have to spend the first 15 minutes of each session tidying up and getting into the swing of things.
Know what you are going to spend your time on - set a goal for each session - before you start.
While it is tempting to procrastinate by filing, tidying, or reworking your roster, those are precious minutes that dilute your focus and can lead to you doing all kinds of admin unrelated to the work you should be revising.
While you are studying, focus on nothing else. At night, when you go to bed, and in the morning when you wake up, think about your future.
Visualise why you are putting in all the hard work now, and picture your future - what you want to do with your life and how you are going to get there.
ARTICLE: MYRON RABINOWITZ, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST
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