Managing your time might not sound like the most fun thing to do, and it may even sound like a waste of time, but it is essential if you want to be your most productive self. In college, between classes, activities, socializing and studying, time for you will seem near impossible. But not if you make a schedule and distribute your time in a realistic and organized manner. Setting unrealistic goals will only tire you and your work will suffer but more importantly, you will suffer. College should be an incredible experience. And to help you get started on the right note, you can follow some of these awesome tips.
The Students’ Guide to Time Management
Keep your long-term goals in sight. Map a plan to achieve your goals. You are here. What routes must you take to get to your destination?
Schedule everything you know about! Use a calendar to write down class times, work times, social events, and breaks. When up-coming events span beyond the current month, write them into empty calendar blocks.
Start tomorrow at the end of today. Plan each day starting with when you intend to get up. Use a to do list for daily activities. Put scheduled events into their appropriate time slots and prioritize the rest of your list.
Work your plan. Often it’s easy to stop a task and immediately deal with what we think is a small interruption. However, sometimes small interruptions snowball into big time consumers. Work your day according to your plan. If something new needs attention, wedge it into your schedule or if it is an immediate emergency, make sure you reschedule your current task. Also, be sure to mark your place. Write a note to yourself if need be.
Do the tough stuff first. Once, the worst part of a project or assignment is over, the rest will be a breeze! However, if the “tough stuff” is keeping you from getting started, then start with something easy to convince yourself that you can get the job done!
Break things down to the ridiculous. Dividing large assignments into smaller parts makes it easier to fit them into your schedule. In addition, you’ll benefit from a sense of accomplishment as you finish each phase. It’s a lot more satisfying to visualize what you have done than it is to agonize over what remains to do.
Rules were made to be bent. Build some flexibility into your schedule. Give yourself extra time to cope with interruptions in your schedule. As well as time to work, build in some time to play. Scheduling recreational activities and regarding them as important parts of your day gives you something to work towards.
There’s always tomorrow. Like any other skill, it takes time to learn how to manage your time. Even time management experts have days when their whole schedule falls apart. If yours does, don’t quit on time management. Instead, pick up the pieces and start again the next day. Review your schedules at the end of each week to see what did and what didn’t work for you. Build on your successes as you develop plans and time management strategies for following weeks.