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Set Your Days Right While Preparing For IAS!

  • 03 Nov 2021

Here are a few tips to help you manage your day better. Best of luck! - Blog Editor, Drishti IAS

How to set your days right while preparing for the IAS examination?

There is always a shiver running down the spine when one thinks of an examination. And when the exam is this big, it can send anyone into hysteria. On the contrary, panicking can make the task even more difficult for you. So, to balance your mind’s health and strength it is important to calm down before you even begin preparing for your exam.

The best thing one can do while preparing is managing time and scheduling your day right. Planning an effective strategy helps in producing better outcomes for students. Many students, unfortunately, do not realise the importance of time management and often fail to derive productivity out of their days.

Why do I need a schedule?

Very few students across the country are taught to balance their time and make the best out of it. Most time management strategies only depend on one’s individual ways of dealing with troubles. Result? Most students end up regretting not setting up the right schedule even during their exams. When it comes to the IAS exam, which requires a lot of areas to cover and levels to cross, proper planning becomes the most ardent rule to achieve success.

A study plan or a timetable refers to a properly managed schedule that a student must figure out to achieve a set of desired goals. Scheduling helps in becoming determined and staying productive at the same time.

Keep these things in mind while setting up your schedule when you are preparing for the IAS exam:

  • Determination

While organising your schedule you must act enthusiastically and energetically to achieve your goal. You must keep yourself accountable for any loss and must be prepared to deal with any sort of circumstances. You must be entirely dedicated towards your target and try your best to discipline yourself in every manner.

  • Elimination

There are a lot of things, activities and events that take up our time and energy. Try to eliminate things that are not of much relevance as there is no harm in missing them. For example, a TV show, social media, or a casual party.

  • Consistency

While you are planning your days, try to do it collectively and not only for a single day. Set a schedule for a week, a month or two to remain consistent on your plan. Avoid getting deviated from the target. You know your capacity, capability and pace; thus, it is extremely crucial to plot everything keeping that in mind. If you try something above or below your potential, you won't be able to get the results.

  • Execution

Once you are done planning your day right, according to your capacity, stay adamant and follow it. Work according to your schedule without flinching or getting distracted for even a minute.

The rules sound strict, but before everything you must take care of your mental health and capacity. You must not strain or push yourself to unrealistic limits but set for yourself achievable goals while staying determined to do more.

When we say ‘unrealistic limits' it means that you should schedule a timetable that is feasible for you to follow. Like studying for 8 hours straight without a break, is unrealistic and creates undue pressure. One should always work according to their individual capabilities and methods of learning.

It will be of no use if we figure out a plan for you to follow as it is possible that it doesn’t match your style of studying. It is possible that what we believe to be a priority is actually not that important to you. Thus, here is a list of tips that you must follow to bring the best out of your day.

  • Early to bed, early to rise; makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

The first and foremost mantra of setting the day right is sleeping early and waking up early in the morning. There is no lie in the fact that morning hours are the most productive hours of the day. Set a new body clock for yourself. Initially, it may feel distressing, but once your body gets used to it (which it will in a minimum of 3 days) you are good to go. What time do I prefer to wake up, you ask? I would say 6 am!

  • Prioritise your tasks.

Never ever miss your breakfast, skipping meals will make you feel lethargic, unenthusiastic and weak. After you wake up early, prioritise a healthy breakfast with some fresh air. After you have freshened up your body and soul, switch to your books. Early hours are usually away from the bustling streets and home, thus this peaceful atmosphere will give you time to cover your main and crucial topics.

  • Assign yourself a number of study hours.

The most practical number of hours to study in a day are 8 hours including revision and of course the breaks. Assign some couple of hours to one topic while another couple to another and in between keep revising your concepts and keep breathing in between.

  • Start preparing early.

You are well aware of your dates and when exactly you are going to have your exams. Thus, it is better to start studying 4-5 months beforehand. This will not only reduce the stress but you will also have enough time to cover a decent number of topics before your exam dates arrive.

  • Set a deadline.

For instance, if you have a vast topic that needs more than just a few hours, then in such a situation you should set up a deadline for yourself to complete the topic in a specific period of time before starting with another topic.

  • Checklists.

Prepare a checklist for yourself to make sure that your priority list is being covered diligently. This checklist will give you a sense of victory and achievement after you go through a topic.

  • Celebrate.

A little celebration and reward helps boost up your will to perform better at every stage. Since in this exam you have to primarily deal with your own self, you can reward yourself after every completion. Chocolate sounds religious here!

  • Socialise.

Now by socialising here, we do not mean unprogressive interactions but meetings that help you feel the essence of human relations and derive the best out of it. As we already discussed about elimination, skipping social media for some time is necessary. But to socialise, and freshen up your mind you can join study groups to share and learn different concepts and ideas. Also, this helps you test your potential and helps you assess your progress.

  • Avoid multitasking.

For example, even though computers are machines that are designed to multitask, they tend to hang after opening up multiple files, is it not? Similarly, multitasking in a situation when you have to cover a number of things is not a good idea. Try to stick to one task at a time, to get a thorough understanding of it.

  • Organise.

Organising your day is one side of the coin, the other is organising your desk and room to feel the space and air. Setting up significant hours to clean up your space and putting things in accessible and presentable locations also increases productivity and saves a lot of time that would otherwise go in finding notes, books or anything else.

  • Include sleep and rest windows in your schedule.

8 hours of nice sleep is a must for your brain to charge up to work further. Besides that, you can get some 5-15 minutes of power naps or breaks to munch on your favourite snack to ease your anxiety and stress for some while. Resting for you is crucial. You can also choose a particular number of minutes to relax after every topic.

  • Wrap up.

A lot of pressure can cause stress and mental concerns. Thus, it is extremely important to include a wrap up hour for yourself to look away from books and discover some interesting things to relax while resting your mental mechanisms for some while.

Preparing for any exam is stressful and changes may occur or be needed anytime anywhere, and we understand that very well. Thus, a very important thing that you must keep in mind while preparing your schedule is to add flexible hours to adapt to these changes. These flexible hours will help you concentrate better and compensate for any loss in the daily schedule.

Did you plan your schedule already? If not, do it today. Productivity awaits you. Let’s just put in a little more effort to achieve our goals!

 Shrishti Gupta 

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