One of the most challenging aspects of being a student is learning how to manage time. There is so much to do and to keep track of in college that without good time management skills, doing well in school will be a lot more difficult.
There are many things you can do to improve your time management. Learning new skills and developing new habits will help throughout your college years and life in general. Following some of the next suggestions for time management may help you develop your own way of keeping everything in order.
Calendar: Get and use a calendar. The use of a calendar is ideal for jotting down due dates for assignments, scheduling some “fun” time, and everything in between. It can be a paper calendar, a PDA, a phone or any other form, but use it. It will help.
Write Everything Down: Make sure you have one specific place where you write down all your information/schedules. The more places you write things down the more hectic that practice can become. Scheduling in when you are going to sleep, call your parents, study and even eating times will help you keep organized and on top of school. It may feel like you do not have to write everything down, but as your schedule becomes more hectic, the more you will depend on that scheduling.
Be Flexible: Of course things will come up that you did not expect or were not written down, so be flexible. Always leave a little leeway for adjustments.
Plan Ahead: In college you will inevitably be assigned major projects. Make sure to schedule enough time for the entire project. Work backwards on your scheduling if need be. Take the due date and work backwards and figure out how much time you need to complete it, how much time to research it, how much time you will need to revise it. Schedule it all in and stick to it.
Learn to Say No: Party this Friday? Weekend get-away? Whatever the question, learn to say no. Sometimes it may feel like the hardest thing to do, but if you have that paper due or that project to finish, you have to learn to say no. Your grades should be your priority.
Prioritizing: Your number one priority should be graduating, but during your college years you will have many things thrown at you. You lose your cell phone, you get sick, your computer crashes, your friend has a problem and the list goes on. Good time management will require you to prioritize and re-prioritize over and over again. When things shift, learning to prioritize will help you avoid a crisis.
Social Time: Be sure to schedule in some fun time. Yes, you will be extremely busy and keeping up with your school work may be a challenge, but your brain also needs some time off. The challenging part will be what fun thing to do and which to pass on because there will be a lot of fun things going on around you in college. This is where prioritizing can help.
Try various time management suggestions and find the skills that work for you.