Part of "time management" is basically doing a "cost/benefit analysis" of your use of your time. Here's the reality of life: you have a finite amount of time in each day. You have 1,440 minutes available to you in each day. Now some of that time should be spent sleeping. I truly mean getting good, quality sleep. This is important. If you get 6 hours of quality sleep, you will likely feel better than if you get 8 hours of non-restful sleep. I'm sure this seems like the proverbial "no-brainer" but whatever hours of sleep you need, you need to do everything you can to ensure that your sleep is actually restful. Not getting enough good
sleep is a recipe for burnout. I learned this the hard way. Once you know how much good sleep you need, you need to be as protective of that as your kids because it's that important. Good sleep will help your brain do a lot of important "housekeeping" to ensure that you remember what you have been taught, among other things.
Another thing that you will know once you have determined how much good sleep you will need is how much time you have available during your waking hours to do other things. If it is a school day for you, you're locked into a certain amount of time to be in class. When you're there, be in class
. I don't just mean physically but actually be mentally focused and present.
For studying, it's not a function of how much time you spend studying, but how effectively you use your study time. In my case, I had to work a full-time job while going to school full-time. That was tough. Fortunately for me, I was able to do some study during work. My job was one that allowed me to study there as long as it didn't impact my work performance. I rarely read all the assigned material in-depth. Here's how I managed to do very well most of the time: I would read the syllabus for what topics we were covering and then I would quickly read the material. I'm not reading for max understanding, I'm just reading to "see what's there" to prime my brain for the next step. I would then download any material that was available for the assignment. My program usually put all the lecture material on a protected class website, sometimes they'd have all
the materials for the semester there. Then I'd print out the relevant pages for lecture so that I could write on the pages. Then go to class. In class we'd go over the material the professors wanted us to know, and I'd write the highlights of the lecture down. Here's the key part: when I go home (or to work on work days) I would then review my notes and the specific material in the book about those things covered in class and this time I'm reading for good comprehension. This means I've now seen the material at least twice, if not three times.
Lastly, the day before an exam, I would review the notes that I took and revisit (in notes and textbook) anything that didn't seem to be well understood. I would spend no more than a couple hours doing this. Most of the time, I'm spending no more than a couple hours per day studying. Doing care plans
is a slightly different thing and I budget a different amount of time specifically for doing those. For those, I budgeted about 4 hours each for my first couple, because I had to learn where to look up the information. Eventually I got good enough at them that I'd budget about an hour for each. Most of the time I would end up completing all 4 in half that time. This naturally happens as you gain the knowledge needed to fill them out and what each professor is looking for in your care plans.
Now here's the last part of the whole thing: remember that cost/benefit analysis I mentioned earlier? You need to decide how much studying is worth it to you vs obtaining a particular grade. I got solid "B" grades throughout school. I couldn't get anything lower than a 75% or that was considered a "fail" for a given exam or class. Sure, I could have spent more
time studying and going after the minutae of things and gotten straight "A" grades but that would have eaten into work time, sleep time, or family time and I didn't have much time available for "family" because the rest of my time was already spoken for. You don't need to be the smartest, most knowledgeable one in class. You do have to know what you're doing and where to find the answers to things and how to think through problems. That last bit is the most important of all. The nursing school is for learning a process through which to think through problems. If your brain is too tired because you're spending too much time overloading it, you will have a difficult time learning the process.