Being a college student can be pretty challenging, and one of the hardest struggles is managing time.
It’s obviously difficult to juggle classes, homework, extracurricular activities, AND a social life. Difficult – but not impossible.
We’ve figured out 5 easy, practical tips to help you manage time better and make the most of your college experience, while you still can. Whether you’re a freshman or senior, or even if you haven’t enrolled yet, these tips can help you stay ahead of the clock and make your college life a breeze.
Let’s get started!
Sound redundant, doesn’t it? You could argue that you don’t need a watch anymore because your phone already does that. But how many times have you opened your phone to check the time, only to be distracted by random notifications?
You’d be surprised at how many smaller problems you could solve by simply wearing a watch. Consider one with an alarm feature and a face that lets you check the time quickly. Remember, functionality over style (although it can’t kill to flaunt a little style).
To manage time in the future, you need to invest time in the present. Sit down for a while and prepare a schedule of all the important things you need to get done, along with their deadlines and due dates. Factor in leisure time, study breaks, and importantly sleep hours – so that you don’t burn out.
Several apps can help you manage time by preparing a schedule. If Google Calendar isn’t enough (understandably), apps like Todoist, Trello, etc. could make this process easier.
You don’t need to plan the schedule for an entire college semester in one sitting, even little steps can help you get started. Try planning a schedule for a day, then a week and gradually you’ll find this pretty easy to get done.
Learning how to prioritize is a skill that can help you in more ways than one.
Most college students have a lot on their plate – assignments, rehearsals for activities beyond the classroom, and of course, maintaining a social life. Identifying which of these needs to be given greater importance is the way to balance them all. Your priorities need to align with your personal and academic goals.
Do you have a target grade-point average? Are there certain subjects or extra-curricular activities that you are more passionate about? Do certain tasks take longer to complete than others? Questions like these can help you organize your schedule in order of priority.
For larger to-dos, consider breaking down the tasks into smaller, manageable ones that you can complete over a course of time. For instance, if you have a 3000-word essay due, break it down into smaller 500-word sections. This will give you enough time for breaks, your friends, and other college activities.
One trait you should definitely develop in college is assertiveness.
Most colleges seem to have an infinite amount of clubs, volunteer projects, extracurricular activities, events, and societies. We cannot stress enough how important it is to be incredibly selective about the activities and commitments you take on.
Learn to say a firm NO to things that don’t align with your goals.
Of course, be polite about it, but stick to your guns in the sweetest way possible.
This one’s easier said than done. And you already know what it means.
So instead of overexplaining, we’ve decided to add a few practical ways to limit distractions:
- Identify and list out all the things that typically distract you (knowing your enemies is the first step to defeating them).
- Organize your room or study area in a way that prevents these distractions.
- Close unnecessary tabs on your computer while working.
- Consider taking a social media detox once in a while.
- Allow yourself enough leisure time between study sessions.
So to quickly go over it once more, our 5 hacks to manage time in college are:
- Wear a Watch
- Make a Schedule
- Learn How to Prioritize
- Learn How to say NO
- Limit Distractions
Even trying just one of these tips could bring the change you’re looking for. Managing time isn’t simply a challenge in college. It’s one that can haunt you for the rest of your life – or prove to be your greatest strength.
And college is a great place to start building this skill for an easier future.
We hope this article helps you save enough time to come back and read more of our content : )