The most important thing to know about time management in college is to manage “YOURSELF”– not your time! No matter how organized you are there is always 24 hours in a day. The amount of time in a day will not change. Managing yourself to become as productive as you can is the one key point to becoming academically successful.
Here are some helpful strategies for you to put into practice:
- Avoid time wasters – These time wasters can take so much time away from your day that could have been spent being productive. 1) Everyone has to wait for something throughout the day – always have something with you, spend this time looking over notes or reviewing note cards. 2) Turn off your notification on your phone or email – most people can’t help to look and see who called or emailed and this takes time from your studying. 3) Set specific times of the day to check email or phone texts. You to have uninterrupted time to study.
- Be aware of when you are most productive. Find your "up-times." Some people work best in the morning, others, in the afternoon, some, in the evening, and some late at night. Do the work you find the most challenging at the times you feel the most productive, even if it means napping during your "down-time" (except if you're in class, of course.)
- Be sure to break the BIG task into a series of little tasks. It's easier to move a large piece of furniture like a desk if you first take out the drawers, and then put them back in after it has reached its destination. Working on a project a little each day (15-20 minutes) reduces one longer session that may be both physically and mentally draining as well as unproductive in the long run.
- Be organized. The syllabus each professor provides for the course and the use of a monthly calendar will help you see where everything fits and when it is due. If you know when the "crunch times" are, you can plan to meet your goals without "pulling an all-nighter."
- Be sure you know what the professor and the assignment are asking you to do. More time is wasted "guessing" about the assignment than working on the focused task. If you have a question, ask it. Professors hold office hours to help you when you have a question. You are not bothering them when you ask; they want to help.
- Be aware that the objective is to enjoy yourself as you learn. Remember to breathe. People actually do forget to breathe during times of stress, which actually creates more stress in the process. Remember to smile. Discuss; even commiserate with peers about what's going on. You are not alone. We are a community of learners.