Time management is something almost everyone struggles with.
Far too often, it just doesn’t seem like there’s enough time in the day to get everything done.
While it may be a pervasive problem, it’s one you want to avoid at all costs once you begin college. Time management for college students needs to be treated just as seriously as the classes themselves. Otherwise, you could easily become overwhelmed and quickly put your grades at risk.
Time Management for College Students: 6 Simple Tips
Fortunately, while time management for college students is often a problem, it doesn’t need to be for you.
Follow the 6 tips covered below – and you’ll have a much easier time organizing your days, staying on track, and reaching your full potential.
1. Use a Calendar
This may seem like obvious advice, but if you don’t already have a calendar, you’re setting yourself up for stress.
Everyone has one on their phone these days, but consider purchasing an actual calendar, as well. Put it somewhere you’ll see it on a daily basis and it will be much easier to keep track of what your upcoming obligations are.
These should include:
- Social Events
Again, it’s okay to use the calendar on your phone, too. In fact, there are some really great calendar apps for college students.
Just be sure you also keep a physical one handy. This is especially helpful if you live with someone who will also see your calendar on a regular basis and can keep you accountable.
2. Leave Plenty of Open Hours in Your Day
One mistake a lot of new college students make is filling every waking hour of their day. It’s an ambitious and admirable approach, but it’s ultimately not sustainable.
You can’t possibly know exactly how every hour of your week will play out.
For example, you could get sick. You could also realize that you need to spend a little more time studying a certain subject or speaking with your instructor about it.
This is why your schedule should include plenty of free time.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that this free time shouldn’t be used for school if nothing pops up. A big part of time management for college students is using those open hours to stay ahead of things.
3. Maintain a Regular Routine
Another effective way to defend your precious time is by keeping a regular routine.
For one thing, you’ll have a much easier time organizing your calendar every week. Assuming there haven’t been any major changes to your schedule, just use the same routine from the week before and then add in any new obligations.
It also makes planning much simpler, too. When you know exactly when you’re going to wake up, when your day is going to end, when you’ll spend time studying, etc., you won’t double-book yourself or end up in situations where you haven’t given yourself enough time to complete a certain task.
4. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Staying up late to study and finish assignments has become a college-student cliché.
That doesn’t make it a good idea, though, so don’t let it become a part of your life.
As you’re probably well aware, the biggest consequence of this is a lack of focus – something you absolutely need in the classroom.
There are many additional issues lack of sleep can cause. You’ll also be much more likely to get sick, which means you could end up missing classes. Sufficient sleep will also help you manage stress and anxiety, which will go a long way toward helping you perform at your highest potential.
Despite what you may have heard, not everyone needs eight hours of sleep. As much as possible, try going to bed early enough that you can wake up in time without an alarm clock. This will show you how much sleep you really need, which you can then add to your schedule.
5. Wake Up Early
Getting enough sleep and waking up early don’t have to be at odds with one another. This is good news because, as we just covered, getting enough sleep is vital and waking up early is incredible for productivity.
While it may take some practice to successfully leave your comfortable bed an hour or more before you actually “have to”, the benefits will definitely make this practice worth it.
As we touched on at the beginning, time management for college students is usually a challenge because there just doesn’t ever seem to be enough time to get everything done.
By waking up early, you’re basically adding hours to your day. No one is going to be texting you or messaging you through social media. Other distractions will probably be equally rare.
Now, just in case you accidentally sleep in, don’t use this time for doing assignments do that same day.
Instead, use it to do assignments do the next day or at some other point in the future. You can break down larger assignments into smaller, more manageable pieces by working on them one morning at a time. This is also a great strategy for getting more studying done.
6. Turn Time Management for College Students into a Priority
The last tip is to treat time management for college students as a serious priority. This means practicing the above tips as much as possible. Even when you think you have plenty of time to finish an assignment or study – or handle any other vital task in your life – keep your commitment to this priority in mind.
If you do, it won’t be long before you’re on top of your classes and able to enjoy college stress-free.
Seek a Supportive College Environment
Most importantly, choose to attend a school that will also treat time management for college students as a priority – one that appreciates you already lead a busy life.