Perhaps one of the hardest tasks as a college student is time management. From writing that eight-page paper to celebrating your dog’s birthday, it can feel like you're never allocating enough time to any one subject. Nevertheless, there are some great techniques you practice to better spend your time. For instance, prioritization quickly helps you create categories for greater efficiency. These are the general top five priorities for many college students:1. Study time 2. Social time/time spent with friends 3. Family time 4. Work 5. Time to destress and relax While not in any specific order, most college students' priorities tend to fall more or less in this order. With so many things pulling you in every which way, it can get tiring to pursue time management in college. Below are some tips and tricks to help you get started!
5 Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively in College
Use a planner!A planner is one of the simplest ways to organize your day, week, and month. Use color-coded markers, stickers, or other tools to help you categorize which activity is when and visually see when, where, and how you are spending your time.
Block out specific days for specific activitiesUse specific days to complete certain tasks. For example, if your classes are on a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule, use those days to work as well (if possible) to save Tuesdays and Thursdays as solely study days or for extracurricular activities.
Avoid skipping sleep!Trust me, an all-nighter can be a tempting alternative when you decide to spend the day hanging out with your friends or family. But—while they work here and there—pulling all-nighters frequently will only get you further off track. Not only do all-nighters eventually become a routine, which then makes procrastination a habit, but they also take away crucial time for sleep and rest. In the long run, you’ll become fatigued, more prone to mood swings, and generally less productive. In summary, avoid those all-nighters as much as possible, and plan ahead for big projects or papers.
Start the assignment as soon as you get it.This can seem counterintuitive. After all, there are plenty of other assignments that remain (and that have been planned for). However, you only have to start the project, not finish it. Brainstorm a few ideas, choose the topic, or plan out your part in a group project, and then put the assignment aside for when you do plan on completing it. By already having something to go off of, you’ll be less likely to procrastinate and more motivated to pick it up sooner and finish it (hopefully) ahead of time. As the proverb goes: well begun is half done.
Prioritize your needs versus your wants.There will be days when you don’t feel like doing anything and times when you want to join the fun. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your needs and wants to make the best of your time. If you are genuinely exhausted, prioritize your physical and mental health over schoolwork. Catch up on sleep or take a mental break to avoid burning out. Likewise, if you find yourself simply procrastinating, then motivate yourself to get started and avoid that last-minute anxiety. All in all, create a balance between wants and needs to remain on top of things and prevent burnout or physical exhaustion!