Time is precious and the time that is gone never returns back .We can never have more than 24 hours in a day and that is why ‘time’ stands so crucial. But why managing time needs special efforts for Civil Services examination?
Civil services examination process takes a time period extending up to almost a year. Its preparation is not one day or a week or a month’s job, it has to be well planned and the entire syllabus has to be covered first even before you think of taking the preliminary examination. A totally different time schedule is required when you are going to take up the exam. So Civil Services aspirants must know
- How to utilize the preparation time before the exams?
- How many hours one needs to put in per day to qualify these exams?
- How to schedule the time table of study etc.?
Let us see them in details.
When is time management required?
- During the early preparation of the exam before appearing in the preliminary.
- When you are actually taking the examination for both preliminary and main.
- Finally time management is also required when you are answering the question within the allotted time.
Manage time before, during and after different stages of examination
- A three months strict time schedule has to be put up for prelims preparation. During this period concentrate on taking mock tests on each section of the unit. If your scores are less, go back to the notes /reading material. It’s the time to increase your time slot from 6- 8 hours each day. During the last one month start taking the actual mock test and see to it how you can manage time to cover the entire question paper within the allocated time. This can make you confident to face the Preliminary examination without any panic.
- Similarly, after qualifying the Prelims put a new time schedule for the main examination. There are 9 papers in the main exam and each of them requires written answer free from spelling and grammar mistakes and in very legible hand writing. As the Mains syllabus is huge, the preparation time needs to be scaled to a minimum of 10 hours every day.
How to effectively manage your time
- Know your goals. Make both short- and long-term goals.
- Prioritize your goals out of the whole set of achievable goals.
- For the important and urgent ones — Tasks that must be done. Do them right away.
- As you complete each one, check it off your list. This will provide you with a sense of accomplishment and can motivate you to tackle less essential items.
- Learn to say ‘no’. Learn from the experience to avoid wasting time later on.
- As the day is coming to an end, take 15 minutes to clear your desk and put together a list of tasks for the next day. Following this decompression technique, you’ll feel better to find a clean desk in the morning.
- Make a to-do list for small tasks.
Effectively reading a topic
Follow the steps progressively as you Read.
Step 1: Reading
Step 2: Taking Notes
Step 3: Revising
Step 4: Taking regular Tests.
Taking tests not only provides you the progress chart but also pushes you to perform better.
Organizing your schedule
- In order to cover the extensive syllabus of UPSC Civil Services exam, first thing you’ll need is good planning.
- While making a schedule divide your schedule into monthly, weekly and daily schedule.
- While making daily schedule make sure you have proper break time of small intervals too where you can set some time for your hobbies too. Divide the study sessions into slots and try to achieve the target you have assigned for yourself within the slot itself. If by chance you aren’t able to complete the tasks within the slot, then compensate.
- A proper timetable will give you an idea of what you need to study each day.
- In order to add productivity to the schedule and preparation, taking 2 subjects in a day helps bring diversity and better coverage.
- Review whatever portions you have covered before sleeping.
- Focus on weak areas.
Time management for working professionals
- For working professionals there is a paucity of time. A working professional has no time to sit for long hours together to read unlike a non-working aspirant. But that should not be an excuse. A working professional can make use of the early morning hours, lunch break time, time during travel. Instead of carrying a huge book or a notebook you can make use of soft copy notes available freely online.
Follow healthy regime
- Get up on time. When it is required to rest, rest. When it is required to work with full energy, do not sleep, rather work. Avoid giving any mental or physical stress to yourself during your preparation. You must sleep 6- 8 hours each day and do not cut your sleep time or eating time for the sake of preparation.
- You must eat healthy food during the preparation time of your civil services exams.
Managing resources effectively
- Do smart work rather than hard work.
- Know the syllabus well. Knowing your syllabus helps you know what to study and what not to and keep your study according to it.
Budget your time
- Assess your time, preparation and your environment.
- Always remember, 80% of success comes from 20% of your activities. For which you need to ask yourself, if you want victory, are you sowing perseverance? If you want success, are you sowing hard work?
- We get 86,400 sec/day. If its value is lost, the next day we can’t store it.How you invest is in your hands.
- We draw energy from what we think and what we do. Eliminate distractions, self-induced interruptions. Your smartphone is extremely useful, but it’s also addictive. Instead of being always ‘on’, plan a break in the day to catch up on email, call people back, talk with staff, etc.
Track your progress
- Tracking your progress can help you locate your productivity. We set a target but fail in achieving it because we don’t follow the schedule in productive fashion. The civil services examination is considered one of the toughest exams in India, but with thorough preparation, strong determination and proper management of time, one can crack it.
As said by Chanakya: Do not delay even for a moment in executing, the delay even for moment causes loss of task.
A man specially the administrator should not waste time. A task done at the right time brings good result. So a person (O ruler!) should try to finish the job in time and not delay it even by one minute.
Officers IAS Academy – Best IAS Academy in Chennai.