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Timing skills: A teenage dilemma

Dr Kedar Padte

Timidita was almost pulling out her hair, “This surprise test that has been announced for tomorrow is ridiculous. With prelims slated for the coming Monday, how does one study? Where is the time?” she screamed.

The atmosphere in the canteen of Elitemix University was tense. If Timidita the topper has problems, the rest of the class would be in doldrums.

Prof Talkerato intervened calmly, “One should have a time management programme, whereby one can allot time for such tests. Not only that, one should be prepared for other eventualities too. Remember, last week Aroganto’s father was admitted with a stroke and had to miss college for two days just prior to the crash course?”

“Time management ?” screamed Timidita and asked: “With regular classes, extra classes, praticals, missed practicals, tuitions projects, thesis, field visits and travel time, what management are you talking about, Sir?”

Over and above the University expects us to participate in gatherings, cultural programmes, sports, social service, NCC and what have you, she said.

Prof Talkerato was curt, “Time is priceless, and it is up to you how to manage the same. I will give you some tips. Let’s take your cell phone, Aroganto, and see the app for screen time.” He gasped and said: “Look here, five hours a day and that too on social media. If this time was better utilised, I feel one would be in a comfortable position.”

Here are some tips

Tip1:  Make a schedule for each day. It is easy to download a planner at bedtime and make a plan for the next day. Take one day at a time.

  1. A) Major time allotment: Classes, practicals, tuitions and commuting to and fro.
  2. B) Study time and time spent at the library is the next priority.
  3. C) Essential or practical office time chores like bank work, licence, certificates and official emails.
  4. D) Time for daily chores and eating.
  5. E) Fitness and gym time.
  6. F) Time for social media, recreation, movies or others.

Distractions are galore in today’s life, from answering WhatsApp messages to Facebook likes or listening to a new song on the radio. It is easy to get hooked on to a TV show or even music videos.


Tip 2: How to avoid distractions

Write emails, SMSs or WhatsApp messages in the morning. Check and reply at break time in the afternoon. Scan them at bed time. Ensure you are not spending more than a few minutes.

Clear your study table of clutter.

Arrange files, notes, books and CDS in alphabetical order. Put them back in place when you are done.

Finish short project and assignments quickly.

Switch off the phone.

Disable social media accounts during college hours.


Tip 3: Complete important tasks first

Except in rare situations the dates and timing of tests, prelims or final exams are announced well in advance, so make a timetable as per subjects and give additional time to difficult subjects or chapters.

Stick to the timetable. If a given topic is difficult, get your weak subject sorted out and request for an extra class.


Tip 4: Study in spare time: Carry notes of your prime time subject with you all the time. If a class is cancelled use the time to study, where or when does not matter.

Keep important notes close to your chest. They are more valuable than money. Good notes often get picked by the lazy.


Tip 5: Avoid the sofa or bed when studying. Sit upright and use as reclining slows down the brain and a tired mind falls asleep.

If you find it difficult to stay awake, take a power nap. Sleep for 20 minutes but place an alarm. A cup of coffee helps. Misuse of amphetamine and large quantities of coffee is known to damage brain cells.


Tip 6: Eat on time, eat healthy and often. Hypoglycaemia can reduce concentration. Stay away from addictions. Alcohol or cigarette will only let your time go up in smoke.

Laugh a lot, discuss knowledge, share notes, teach and learn. Teaching a fellow classmate is the best way to revise.

“Knowledge by division multiplies the joy of learning,” giggled Timidita, affirmatively.

(The columnist is a well-known gynaecologist practising in Panaji. Send in your queries to


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