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Time Management Tips for your Study
Breaking down your study plan into small manageable tasks
  Many people find their exam preparation overwhelming, and don’t know how and where to get started. Well, the secret of getting started is breaking your big, complicated task into smaller, manageable tasks, and then start with the first task. Sounds familiar? Well, this is exactly the method provided in the PMBOK Chapter “Time Management” – “Decomposition”.

Task Decomposition management prevents you looking at the big picture and becoming overwhelmed, and instead allows you to focus on breaking the whole task into more manageable tasks, gaining satisfaction from accumulating accomplished tasks.

No matter how big the goal, project or task, it can be broken down into small, manageable pieces. You should 1) break-down your study into tasks, and 2) allocate timeslots to those tasks.

When working on extensive amounts of reading, research or exams, you need to maintain a high level concentration, usually sustained over work periods of three hours or more. This doesn’t mean you should only work over long periods of time, and you may find shorter periods of work time useful for different tasks.
Schedule Short Periods of Time for Revising, Reviewing or Preparing to Study
  1. One hour, or less, can be useful for:
Reviewing studying notes
Completing any light reading, such as a section of a chapter of your study material
Previewing longer readings
Jotting down notes
Reading flash cards with ITTO or Terminology
  2. Between one and two hours can be useful for:
Reviewing an old chapter
Previewing a new chapter
Tasks that are hard to start and stop, but are not ‘brain intensive’
Reviewing an exam that you need to work on more
Schedule Long Periods of Time for Intensive Reading or Study
  1. When we work on a ‘brain intensive’ task or study, we are actively engaging with our tasks or the study material after a few minutes without interruption or being disturbed. After that, we start to build up our concentration, and our productivity quickly increases. But if we are interrupted, and go back later, we have to start all over again, and we won't return to that state of productivity for a few minutes, or possibly hours. After a few times being interrupted, our brains can become exhausted with this constant restarting.
  2. Therefore, to ensure the quality of your study, make sure you will not be disturbed or distracted for at least as long as it takes to complete a certain task.
  3. Allotting periods of time lets you enhance productivity while spending the least amount of time on the job.
  4. According to studies, three hours is the optimum for a sustained session of reading. But during this time be sure you don’t switch to something else that will disturb your concentration, like planning other work, assignments, or sorting out your notes. Then, after a session of three hours, you could take a complete break, and come back to the chapter later in the day, or switch to another task.
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