Time Management 101

Keeping with the college themed posts, one of the most important skills to master as a college student is time management.

Heading into college, you may be an expert at time management, but chances are you are like the majority of others and never have had to truly manage your time. In high school your schedule is virtually the same from day to day. Class starts at the same time, lunch is at the same time, class ends at the same time and then you head off to whatever extra curricular you are involved in….at the same time.

Unfortunately in college your schedule is going to be different every day. Some days you will have four classes, other days you may only have one. Some days you may eat lunch at noon other days you won’t eat lunch at all because you didn’t budget your time well enough. You get the idea.

These are just a few tips that I have learned work for me and hopefully will work for you too!

  1. Get a planner. If you have a planner, great you are ahead of the game! This seems like an obvious answer, but many people don’t realize how beneficial planners are. Find a planner that you actually like to look at and has a layout that works best for you. I like planners that have both a monthly calendar and a weekly calendar that allows me to write notes. (I am using this planner for 2017)

    Planner Blog Pic
    My planner has decorative, inspirational quotes at the beginning of each month. (Planner illustrated by Becca Cahan)
  2. Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of the week writing down your “to-dos”. If you know exactly what is due before your week even starts and can figure out what day you need to do what work, it won’t seem as overwhelming. Have a to-do list everyday, even if it is just to study for a class. Physically crossing work off your to-do list every day will make you feel super productive.
  3. Use your time between classes wisely. Sometimes you will have to run from one class to another just to make it to class on time, but most of the time you will have a few minutes between your classes. Instead of checking Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., go over flashcards or skim your notes from the last lecture. Even this small amount of studying will add up and help you immensely in the long run.
  4. Say “No” if you need to. Spending time with friends and joining clubs is a huge part of the college experience and you may feel a duty to say “yes” every time your friends are going out. Unfortunately, your schedule may not always allow that. First and foremost you are at school for school and that should always come first. Along with this try not to bite off more than you can chew (cliché alert). In all seriousness, one of the most common mistakes I see freshman make is trying to become TOO involved and then do not leave themselves time to do actual work for their classes.
  5. Study wisely. While it may seem like spending five hours in the library is the a great way to study, loosing sleep probably isn’t the best way to go about preparing for your test.  I would say studying at least a week before a test is a good way to break down all of the information. You should be studying throughout the semester as you get your notes, but realistically I cannot tell you one student that actually does that. If you know that you are not the best at a certain subject, begin studying a little earlier. If you feel like you are just going about the motions and not really absorbing any of the information, TAKE A BREAK. It’s okay!
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