In general, Management is basically means planning and controlling the time spent on specific activities to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. Time management may be aided by a range of skills, tools, and techniques used to manage time when accomplishing specific tasks, projects and goals complying with a due date. It covers a wide range of activities like planning ,setting goals ,analysis of time spent. In the Civil Services exam it is a tool to success. Time management is essential and one of the important tool in the Civil Services Examination. In the first stage of examination that is called preliminaries, real-time testing is very important. When it comes to Mains time management has become more important one has to solve the whole paper in merely three hours. Here aspirants should allocate the time as according to the requirement of the question paper. As the nature of Mains exam paper is that one need to stick to the word limits in all questions and here need proper time management, candidates should note that if too much time spent on one particular question will surely means that one miss out on others questions. This examination process checks management skills of candidates. Time management is important not just in writing the exam, but also while preparing for it. It is advisable to break up long study sessions into a few compact ones with more breaks to refresh oneself. For example, two four-hour sessions prove to be more beneficial than one long eight-hour stretch. Some students prefer to study in short bursts of two hours, with 15-minute breaks in between.
Here are some tips for time management
- Set practical, realistic target: Always set time bound targets that are achievable, for UPSC preparation,. If the target is not accomplished in the desired period then do not panic, just revise the schedule. Try to achieve the target and take a break and start with a new topic. Pen down your plan for a day and check at the end of the day if you have done well.
- Aviod exhaustive schedule: Plan before hand and make a schedule for UPSC preparation. Ideally a good schedule comprises of sufficient amount of breaks too, and the right amount of study hours since overburdening yourself with too much of study will reduce the ability to understand the topic. Candidates should also include an hour to dedicate for personality development as UPSC exam tests the overall personality of the candidates.
- Assess yourself periodically: Time management for UPSC examination should also include self-evaluation to understand the learning you have achieved, by writing mock tests. If you are lacking in some concepts, revise again. All this process helps in better UPSC preparation.
- Analyze previous years’ papers: Go through previous years’ papers and analyze the topics of your strength and weakness for UPSC preparation. This helps in selecting subjects for mains and for prelims and aids in effective time management for UPSC examination on the basis of topics which need to be given more attention.
- Constant reading without failure: Make a habit of reading daily. Reading newspapers, books of syllabus and magazines of current affairs helps to get a big picture about the current happenings around the world and up to date knowledge which are an essential component of UPSC exam preparation.
- Aviod Distractions: Keep distractions like mobiles, phones, TV and social media at bay. When you have to ensure effective UPSC preparation, these distractions waste a lot of your time and then the real goal goes for a toss.
- Eat healthy and exercise and sleep well: UPSC preparation is not just about studying; it’s about management of time along with staying healthy ad focused. A fit body helps in studying better and retaining the knowledge well. So, eat timely and eat healthy and have adequate sleep. Take some time out for exercise and yoga which relieve the mental pressure and ensure successful UPSC preparation for you to reach your goal.
- Follow a regular routine and stick to your pre-scheduled plan.
- Always remember that your IAS preparation is aimed at becoming a topper and not just for qualifying the exam as it will get reflected in your IAS preparation, and naturally you will not be giving your best.
- Focus on your optimum time utilization, instead of consumption of the maximum time consumption.
The main thing is to manage time and focus on the time regime that you allocate for the preparation of the civil service exam. There could be many agonizing moments during the preparation but never compromise on your time schedule. The adage, fortunes favors the brave is best description who judiciously manage time for the preparation of the civil service exams.
Ultimately it is up to the individual to find his or her own unique time management strategy. It is also possible to use "free time" effectively. Thus, time spent commuting, or relaxing can also be used to refresh concepts or read different, if not completely unrelated, books. However, it is important to "switch-off" for at least some time in a day.