We have heard great lines and great people talk about planning and it’s importance . And this concept of planning has attracted interest from researchers to management scientists.
A lot of answers on Quora have laid down a day’s schedule of a UPSC aspirant ,which is worth emulating . However I believe planning is an individual act . My plan cannot apply for you and yours cannot apply for me .Then how do I address UPSC aspirants concern now ?
I shall lay down important points from my experience .Whether you are a full time aspirant or preparing while in job ,whether you are in college or abroad,these points are universal .
Point 1 -Plan not by hours ,but by targets .
Now you may be someone who has started your preparation 1 year ahead .Or you may be someone who has started preparation just few months before Prelims . Either ways ,UPSC is not interested in the time and efforts you have put in .UPSC is only interested to know if you have the knowledge of certain areas. Hence ,whenever you start the preparation, divide the syllabus /material you have to read into smaller lots and try to finish each lot one after the other.
How to do – I shall complete 1 chapter of Polity ,1 of history ,1 of economics today .
And how not – I shall study polity for 2 hours,History for 2 hours ,economy for 2 hours every day .
Point 2 – Do not study one subject for long hours (8 hours) or one whole day at a stretch .Take breaks whenever needed.
Studying one subject whole day leads to boredom and brings down efficiency. Since you have planned target wise ,take breaks after achieving small targets .
A combination of 2 or 3 subjects per day is optimal to keep the interest levels high.
Point 3 – Be careful about time wasters.
Most of the aspirants lose time without realising . The best way is to be aware of time wasters and ignore them as far as possible. Example : Phone calls or messages ,internet, discussion with a room mate etc can spoil your concentration and you may miss your target for the day. So stay away from such time wasters.
Point 4 – Take energy levels into consideration while planning a day .
At the planning stage be conscious of your efficiency levels. Some of them are most productive in their mornings ,some in late nights. Whatever it is ,allot the important subjects or areas for the productive hour slot.
What to do – If you are an early riser ,then plan to study subjects like polity or history in the morning . And subjects like CSAT can be done in the afternoons.
What not to do – Take up CSAT preparation in the most energetic hours and do polity after lunch while you are sleepy !
Point 5 – Recreation !
Whenever you finish your targets take small breaks of recreation. May be listen to songs or go out for a walk or meditate .Sometimes you may watch a movie to freshen up your self. This will keep you motivated to go back to study again.
I hope this is helpful,
All the best ,