Time management for college students, is it even possible?
Do you ever feel like there are NEVER enough hours in the day to get it all done? I know I do! Effective time management for college students is a challenging task to master. With homework, classes, studying, kids, family, jobs, and many other obligations, we sometimes tend to spread ourselves way too thin.
Time management seems to be an ongoing problem that the scientist and teachers try to assist us with, but we haven’t entirely conquered it yet.
Time management, for me, is a constant struggle; however, With some practice, I’ve managed to gain some balance in my busy college life.
When I tell you I’m the QUEEN of procrastinating, I mean it! I can put studying off until the last millisecond and somehow still manage to get an “A” on tests.
Now, that hasn’t been true of EVERY test, but for the most part, I’ve done pretty well.
However, procrastination is a TERRIBLE habit to practice, and I’m continuously working on managing my time better. Time management for college students is something I don’t believe any student has mastered, and it probably never will be a complete balance.
Through consistently practicing effective time management, I’ve discovered four specific things that help me the most when it comes to managing my time.
My four Time Management Tips for College Students.
Purchase a planner.
I believe this was the BEST investment I made since I started college. A planner helps you keep track of daily tasks and prevents you from OVER scheduling yourself.
Writing planned activities in a planner helps you visualize and actually “see” all that you have on your plate. A planner also helps you stay organized.
If you’re going to purchase a planner, I suggest that it be one that is sturdy and well divided. It’s also good if your planner has the times of day listed under each day of the week.
The planner I have has daily time divisions, and it’s great. It allows me to write down what I’m doing at a specific time in the day and helps my day run A LOT smoother.
One other suggestion is to get one that zips. I particularly like running planners because it’s more secure. However, you’re free to choose whatever kind of planner that works for you. 🙂
Weed out the “want to do’s” and the “need to do’s.”
Now, this is a tough one for me.
I am a HUGE TV watcher, especially sitcoms. I could spend hours watching Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men 🙂
The right way I found to weed the “want’s” from the “need’s” is to sit down with my planner and take a good look at what I’ve scheduled for the week.
Are there things that can wait?
Are their parties that will cut into my study time?
It is a good idea to take a good look at your schedule and weigh each event and ask yourself, “Is this something that I NEED to do or WANT to do?”
If it’s just something that you “want” to do and you know that it will interfere with the productivity of your week, you might want to consider rescheduling it to when you have “spare” time to do it.
I have to do this when planning out my week consistently. I usually find that most of the things I have planned are things I WANT to do and not NEED to do.
These events are taken out and replaced with things that I need to do that I’ve been putting off. By the end of the week, if I’ve stuck to my schedule, I usually find that I’ve had a pretty productive week, leaving me with extra time on the weekends.
When I DON’T do this, I’m usually using my weekends, which is supposed to be my “free time,” to try and cram in all the things I should have done during the week.
Learn to say “NO.”
What do I mean?
Does this sound familiar?…
“Hey, do you want to go shopping after class?”
“Yo, wanna go shoot some hoops?”
“So let’s go to the party tonight, we can pull an all-nighter and cram for the test when we get back.”
What would be your response?
If you’d typically say “yes” to these, then this is most likely the reason why your time management is off. I can honestly say this was a HUGE part of why I could never get anything done.
There’s power in the word “No.” It can save you a lot of headaches and stress later. I know there’s been plenty of times when my friends have invited me out to parties, dinner, bowling, or just going out to eat, and I’ve had to say “no” to them.
Saying “no” was hard for me to do, but in the long run, it’s allowed me to be more fruitful when it comes to my schoolwork and job.
It took a while for me to learn to say “no.” I had to practice saying “no” in the mirror because I’m not used to it, but it eventually got more comfortable.
If you put saying “no” into practice in your life, you could benefit from it drastically.
Now, this is the absolute BEST method, based on my experience, of getting your time management in check.
Being accountable to others has proved to be effective in assisting me in completing tasks as well as keeping commitments to me and others.
The way my friends and I use the accountability method is by meeting or calling each additional two or three times a week and going over our weekly schedules together.
This way, each of us knows what the other is supposed to be doing at a particular time during the week. We’ll ask each other things like…
What have you accomplished so far this week?
What things are you putting off?
Where are you slacking this week?
What could you give more time too?
What could you give less time too?
What needs improving?
I do not know about you, but I like being able to keep the commitments that I make to people.
Having the accountability mentality is essential when doing the accountability method because it helps me ensure that my goals are met.
My work is done as thoroughly as possible before we have our weekly check-ins.
Viewing it in this way helps me to stay focused and goal-oriented. It’s kind of like making sure that I do my homework and studying is my homework 🙂