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Tabling Time for UPSC Civil Services Success - Tips on Time Management

time management


Master key to flying colours in UPSC CS – time management


Time is Success

“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign."

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These lines by Victor Hugo best connote the importance of time-management combined with planning. How to make best of the time you have, is a challenge faced by most UPSC aspirants but lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. “We all have twenty-four hour days”, says Zig Ziglar.


One reason very few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular. This is why a time table becomes important. A goal without a properly timed plan is not a goal but merely a wish. With an ever expanding and extensive syllabus to cover, managing time in an effective manner becomes a key factor for cracking the UPSC CS examination. Despite devoting 10-12 hours for IAS studies, candidates often fail to reach their daily goals and suffer from stress, anxiety and depression, which in turn hinder the overall preparation process. Your daily routine should allow you to completely focus on study, while not hindering any other aspects of your life.


At SuccessCDs, we have prepared a model time table for the aspirants that will entail the best balance of study time and recreation time.

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7:00AM- Rise and shine!

  • The key to remain fresh throughout the day is ample amount of sleep taken the night before. Getting up too early or too late can not only disturb your schedule but also make you feel dull and lethargic the whole day.


7:30-9:30- Breakfast and Newspaper

  • The most important meal of the day with the most important part of CSE preparation. Try to make notes for current affairs during this time. Don't pile up the newspapers, thinking you'll do it all on the weekend. You'll be stressed about it for the whole week. Make a time frame of 90-120 minutes in which you must complete the paper reading and its note making.


9:30-10:00- Daily routine work.


10:00-1:00- Study hour

  • Pick up the most difficult topic/subject for this time, as the mind is fresh after its nightly rest. And because of that a long study stretch can be pulled off. Try to evaluate all the related topics that were studied before and also bring continuity for the topic to be studied. This will double check all the things that you studied earlier too.

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1:00-3:00- Lunch and rest

  • A nap could be taken if you are sure that you'll be able to get up in the specified time otherwise talking to your family, doing what you love, pursuing your hobbies can be done during this time. Also, lunch should be healthy. Take more proteins and fibres that will keep you alert as well as act as a constant energy source for you throughout the day.


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3:00-5:00- Study hour

  • This would be the perfect time to join a coaching/discussion group/library because one might feel lethargic after taking lunch and nap. An interactive environment would also help one to clarify doubts and concepts. But please note that only discussions that you indulge in are subject related and not about politics & random issues. To have an edge you should solve more number of questions. We suggest you to try our test series questions regularly. It will help you learn different viewpoints about different topics along with significant improvement in interpersonal communication skills.


5:00-6:00- Exercise

  • Try to indulge into light sports like running, jogging or anything else you like. You could also join a gym, yoga class, aerobics or even a dance group. The important thing is to keep your body active and mind healthy and moving. Indulge in some mind relaxation exercises.


"The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” says Tony Robbins.


6:30-8:00- Study hours

  • Keep light subjects / topics that you are familiar with for evening study sessions. The best thing one could do is revision of previously made notes. The topics that you studied months back are not revised; it is as good as not studied. Preparation for exam is a continuous process. You might have covered the syllabus long back, but memory deteriorates with time. So regular revision is a must.


8:00-9:00- Dinner along with some Recreation

  • Keep the dinner light and healthy. Supplementing it with warm milk will be a great idea.

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9:00-10:00- Daily News Updates

  • It will give you an in-depth analysis of the top news stories of the day along with all necessary facts and figures. Devote this time to read the relevant news of the day through the internet or any other medium. Try making factual or information-based notes for it. News updates from Rajya Sabha discussions, PIB etc. should be noted during this time.


10:00-12:00- Revision

  • Whatever has been studied throughout the day should be revised and reviewed. In this way, you'll be saved of the trouble of taking out time separately on days and things will be retained in your mind.


12:00-7:00- Sleep
Time management is a process and not just a chore. Time table that works for one aspirant may not work for another. Therefore, it is a must to know that the afore mentioned time-log is in no way perfect and can be improved according to one's own need. Productive workers can produce higher output in fewer hours, resulting in more free time for much-needed fun and relaxation.


“The most efficient way to live reasonably is every morning to make a plan of one’s day and every night to examine the results obtained", this advice by Alexis Carrel should be the mantra of all the aspirants. Make a plan and stick to it.
Happy Preparation!


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Author: Anushka Mishra

(C) SuccessCDs.net