Oh God, there is so much to study! The IAS syllabus is so extensive that even after studying for 10 hours every day, I don’t see myself completing it. How will I ever be able to cover the entire syllabus and be ready for the IAS exam?
Like most of the IAS aspirants, if you also have this kind of conversation with yourself on regular a basis, you are suffering from poor time management problem. While, most of the candidates, who being their IAS preparation are well aware of the importance that time management holds for cracking this much-coveted exam, not many are able to master it. Even if you ask the toppers from last few years, they will share with you that time management was the trickiest part of IAS preparation strategy and it was the one differentiating factor that helped the cross the metaphoric ‘final line’ as far as civil services exams are concerned.
Despite being one of the most important pillars in the IAS success, not many aspirants are able to build an effective time management strategy for their IAS preparation. This is primarily because of the extensive and ever-growing nature of the IAS syllabus along with the inability of the aspirants to identify the right techniques to build a creative time schedule that meets all the challenges in this field. Below, we shall discuss a few proven techniques of time management for IAS aspirants, with the help of which they can climb the ladder of success by cracking one of the toughest entrance exams on the planet.
1.Create a Goal Based Time Table
The majority of IAS aspirants are known to create their daily timetable that accounts for every minute and every second of their day. While this may look like a very good move initially, but keeping up with such a strict timetable with account of every minute may prove to be very difficult for many. With no wiggle room for any emergency or accidental incidents, such timetables are often thrown out of gear very soon. Therefore, instead of opting for such a strict time-based schedule, try to manage your time in terms of goals you need to fulfill during a day, week and a month. Doing so will prove to be very fruitful as you will have the flexibility to manage your time in a way as the day, week or month progresses. It will also help you to study better rather than just ensuring that you are sitting in front of a book for a dedicated amount of time. However, in order to make such a timetable work, aspirants needs to be extremely committed to their goals and ensure that they achieve them despite all emergencies.
Many students while building a creative timetable for the IAS preparation process often overestimate their potential and include tough timelines and topics to be covered within a short time span. This leads to a lot of stress and majority time of aspirants are spent in memorizing data and information from the allotted study time instead of trying to develop a deeper understanding and conceptual clarity about the topics. To avoid this, students should opt to build very realistic goals that are not only easy to achieve but also allows enough time to the aspirant to study it thoroughly so that they can recall it during the final exam. Another efficient time management strategy as far as studying is concerned is of breaking larger topics into small subtopics which are digestible within the study time allotted for their completion.
One of the key reasons that IAS aspirants suffer from time crunch is the poor organization of their study time. No amount of time would be enough to cover the vast syllabus of IAS exams, until and unless you adopt an organized approach to your studies. Therefore, in addition to pointing out what you are going to study and when you are going to study, aspirants should also consider how are they going to study the pre-decided topics. Like discussed before, set realistic goals for your study hours and ensure that you are mentally and physically ready for the challenge. Arrange for all the study materials and reference books you will need during your study hours, don’t let that eat into your study time.
Many IAS aspirants often detail stories about how they got stuck on a particular topic or subject for days and ended up compromising on study time for other topics for subjects. To avoid such situations, it is important to know when to give up! If you are unable to complete the selected topic within the stipulated timeframe, it is most likely that you are experiencing a block and allotting more time to the cause will not yield any fruitful results. Instead, pick another topic and try revisiting the pending topic again with a fresh approach and some guidance from seniors, mentors or teachers.
This may sound like the worst advice to give to any IAS aspirant, but is one of the most important ones that you should consider very seriously. Taking time off from your study schedule is very important not only to maintain a healthy balance in your lifestyle but also ensure that your mind has enough time available to process the data and topics you have been studying. Creating a well-balanced timetable that focuses upon study as well as other aspects like physical activity, entertainment, and socialization; is very important for any IAS aspirant. Taking Time Off from studies will also help in easing the stress and relieving anxiety that you face as part of your IAS preparation process
When you are an IAS aspirant, every other person will have advice and tips to help you in your preparation process. Many people fall in the trap of blindly following seniors, mentors, and even peers as far as their time management and IAS preparation strategy is concerned. While it is important to be open to new ideas, belief in your plan and strategy is also equally important. Frequent changes to your study plan would only lead to wastage of time and energy and you will have to start your preparation from scratch again to suit the needs of the new plan. Therefore, it is important to focus on your own priorities and decide a plan that meets all your goals. If in case you feel that your plan is not working after following it for a minimum of 4 weeks, and then you can think about making minor changes to it.
These are just a few techniques that you can employ in order to build a creative and well-balanced time management strategy for IAS preparation. There are many other tips and tricks that you can employ to build a dedicated time management strategy for subjective study for IAS preparation. You can find a few of them here.