A common trend leading to academic failure in Nigerian students is the inability to adapt creativity and logic at the same time. Dreaming of something and at the same time thinking about the process to achieve it can be distracting and time consuming. Instead of making actionable plans to propel you towards your goal, you may get lost in your own head. This is why time management tips for Nigerian students is a very important topic of discussion.
The Concept of Time Management
Time management has become a popular topic with Nigerian students who have a lot on their plates, academically and in other aspects. Some of the reasons why students fail are lack of preparation, personal issues, lack of perseverance, and poor time management. Time management is the most critical of these reasons. This is because time is not just something you spend, but something to invest in. And since many students in Nigeria don’t understand this, they have failed and are still failing. Failing can indeed be a learning path to success, but its frequent repetition can also be a headache.
This article talks about 9 time management tips for students in Nigeria. After reading this, you’ll have three very important pieces of information in your knowledge bank. First, you’ll be able to plan for the future based on academic and non-academic goals. Second, you’ll have simple time management tips for Nigerian students, with special emphasis on the Nigerian education system. And third, you’ll understand the importance of these tips in your life.
10 Time Management Tips for Students in Nigeria
- Set goals
- Understand yourself
- Create a To-do list
- Tackle small tasks first
- Eliminate distraction
- Do one thing at a time
- Use your breaks wisely
- Appreciate yourself.
- Be organized
Stephen R. Covey said, “let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning”. To create advanced thinking, you need to create a goal first. As a Nigerian student that is interested in success, you should identify what success means to you and how you want that success to manifest. Identifying your goals is important for effective time management.
We’ll be using one specific example throughout this article for better understanding. For instance, a student, Emmanuel, has a goal to complete the literature text, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, within a week. Not just to read from cover to cover, but to read with literal understanding. This goal has created a clear picture of his final destination which will serve as a great driving force until he accomplishes the goal.
Now that goals are set, the next thing to do for effective time management is to figure out the “how”. The process that will take you from identifying your goals to achieving them. A few minutes of thinking will do the trick. Ask yourself some questions. When am I most productive? What distracts me the most? Where do I assimilate faster?
Answers to these questions are very important for a student to understand him or herself. It will help you to create a reliable and realistic plan. A realistic plan will help you achieve your goals without having a negative toll on you, and will save you a lot of time from trial and error.
Create a To-do list
The creation of a to-do list is the next on the list of time management tips for Nigerian students. Henry David Thoreau once said, “it is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”. As a Nigerian student, there’s always a lot to handle from assignments, term papers, course projects, and so on.
A to-do list helps you to identify what you should do at specific times of the day. This prevents repetition and feet dragging, both of which can delay the achievement of goals. From our previous example, Invisible man contains twenty-five chapters, excluding the epilogue and prologue of the prose. Emmanuel can decide to read four chapters in a day. Two in the afternoon and two at night, according to his timetable for the day. With this plan, he can complete the novel within seven days without stress. And the most important thing is that it doesn’t clash with any existing activity for the day.
Tackle small tasks first
Starting small has a way of putting your mind, body and soul in equilibrium. The path to success is not smooth. Things are expected to get bumpy, frustrating or just plain boring, and if you dive in too fast, you will land hard and you might shatter. Tackling small tasks helps you feel a sense if control as your body is more likely to fall along with the plan.
Let’s get back to Emmanuel and relate this to his goals.
The Invincible Man appears lengthy and boring at first sight. So boring that he was finding it difficult to finish the first chapter one. To achieve his goals and stop wasting time re-reading one chapter, Emmanuel decided to read the prologue first. This gave him an idea of what to expect and prepared him for the next section of the book. After that, he started looking forward to reading so he could connect some of the missing dots lingering from the prologue. You’ll agree that this is progress, and his understanding of the book will increase because of his interest.
Do one thing at a time
There are two types of tasking: multitasking and monotasking. Every student should stay away from multi-tasking. A student may decide to multi-task and get results, but the truth is that you’ll have better output if you focus on one task at a time. Monotasking helps a lot, as it increases your rate of concentration and consistency. You should develop a habit of monotasking for your own sake.
Among the time management tips for Nigerian students is to avoid distractions and eliminate every trigger for them. While working on your plan, it is normal for unforeseen circumstances to pop up. After all, God is the only best planner. Therefore, a Nigerian student should prepare for as much distraction as possible by having an antidote ready.
For instance, a possible source of distraction for Emmanuel as he reads his book is vocabulary and grammar. If he encounters unfamiliar words but he didn’t plan for a dictionary, he might get frustrated and completely lose focus. This will affect the entire plan for the week unless he finds a time block to make up for that period of confusion. However, if there was a dictionary close to him, there would be no reasons for delay.
Read also: How to manage distractions
Use your breaks wisely
Taking breaks is an essential time management tip for Nigerian students. While you work through your plans, your body will get exhausted. You can only fix this by taking a break and giving room for random thinking. You can decide to sleep, go through your phone or gist with friends. These will help the mind and brain to function well when it’s time for real work.
Resting your mind and body is not a waste of time. On the contrary, it relaxes you and gives you the mental strength and concentration for the plan. To make this easy, add “take a break” to your to-do list. Remember, “All work without play, makes jack a dull boy.”
Reviewing your progress is necessary to know how far or close you are to your goals. You will be able to understand if the plan requires amendments or if it’s okay to proceed with it.
For instance, back to our literature example. You can decide to review when you get to the middle of the book by thinking over what you’ve read and how much you understand. Try to relate prevent events to see if you can interpret enough to form a pattern or something similar. If you find this difficult, then you might need to take a step back to re-read and better understand the message. The goal is to understand, not just to see the end of the book.
Appreciate your output
This may sound unimportant, but it is one of the most important time management tips for Nigerian students. You must appreciate the success of your efforts whether or not things happened according to plan. When you do this, it’s easier to embrace your mistakes and learn from them. You’ll have better insights for the next line of action for a new goal that you set. This in turn reduces the amount of time you spend planning for similar goals. It’ll also improve the results you’ll get.
Being organised is a big time saver. It helps with productivity and early implementation of plans. For the book we’re making reference to – ‘The invincible man’ , a student that plans to read and understand has to have a clear picture of what they plan to achieve. Have all the necessary tools close to you so you don’t always have to leave your seat and get distracted. In in this case, a dictionary a pen, and a sheet of paper are things you should have around where you can easily spot them.
Read also: Tips to overcoming procrastination
There will always be so much to do in only 24 hours. It’s up to you to decide how those activities affect your life as a student in Nigeria. The more conscious you are of effective time management, the easier it will be for you to overcome procrastination of any kind. Understand yourself, avoid distractions and do all you can to chase your dreams without burning out. I hope these time management tips for students in Nigeria will go a long way for your plans.
- I'm Ameen Shuaib Assayouty, from a native town Ilorin. I graduated from University of Ilorin, where I studied Islamic Studies. Literature as always been part of my life. As I've composed many poems (poemhunter.com) and also authored a prose titled "Oh! It's the beginning".