Time management can be a difficult task as a student, but your ability to manage your time effectively will be one of the key determinants of your success in college and in life.
Since we all want to enjoy our college experience, the question is how we can align our academic success with positive and fun college experiences? Is it even possible to be a student, have a job and enjoy college life?
The answer is YES. You can be successful academically as well as personally. However, it is a choice that requires thought, effort and — you guessed it — time management.
Here are several tips to immediately improve your time management skills.
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1. Get organized
Organization is important. Not only does organization keep you on track so you can earn the grades you deserve, it also helps you prepare for the professional world in which organization skills are crucial.
2. Keep a calendar and a to-do list
To-do lists are often essential for academic and personal success, and a calendar will help you keep track of important deadlines such as exams, tests, meetings, etc. Both can be very helpful in order to plan for and meet important deadlines.
3. Say NO to procrastination
The most common cause of underperformance and stress is procrastination. When procrastinating, you are putting things off that you should be making a priority. Procrastination inadvertently creates a situation in the future in which you will feel stressed and overwhelmed by the deadlines lining up.
4. Ask about your friends’ methods
We all have that one friend who just always seems to be on top of their work. It’s okay (and actually a really smart idea) to ask about what kind of time management methods work for other students in your position.
5. Avoid distraction
When it comes to managing your time and getting things done, one of the main causes of underperformance is distraction. Distraction is inevitable. It’s normal and happens to everyone, but it’s important to recognize your distractions and not let them get in the way of tasks that should come first.
6. Plan ahead
When working on your time management skills, one of the worst things you can do is start the day with no clear idea about what needs to get done. You will jump from one task to the next, not really completing anything efficiently. Therefore, put high emphasis on spending a couple minutes thinking ahead and planning your activities for the next day.
7. Keep your eye on the prize
Much of effective time management relies on your response to stressful situations. For instance, if you’re feeling a lot of pressure because of your school responsibilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget what assignments you should prioritize. One way to avoid this is by keeping your eye on the prize. Remind yourself that college is temporary, and that one day, you’ll use what you’re learning to jumpstart your career.
8. Practice self care
In order to be an effective and productive person, you need to make sure that you are functional. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise and have a healthy diet. In order to be a productive student, you need to put your well-being first.
9. Ask for help
Maybe you’ll discover that you’re having a hard time managing your time because you’re having a hard time adjusting to college life. That’s totally understandable! When you’re at college, there are so many resources to help you out if you’re having a hard time, whether it’s because of personal or academic challenges.
So, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your college is there to help you.
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