College is not only a time for learning and preparing yourself for the real world. It’s also a time to form lasting friendships, make connections, and have fun.
However, time is and always will be a finite resource — especially so in college. It’s all up to you how to divide and manage it so you have time for your school responsibilities as well as for fun and friends.
Here are our best time management tips for college students.
Put Your Goals in Writing
Making a mental note of all the things you need to do and finish for class hardly ever works. It’s easy to forget mental reminders when you’re juggling at least five classes, a part-time job, and maybe more. Create a written or digital checklist with all of your goals and the deadline for each item. Knowing what you need to do and when you need to finish it allows you to prioritize the most urgent tasks.
Set Time Limits
One of the most useful time management tips for busy college students is to set strict yet realistic time limits. This goes hand in hand with following their limits. Having a strict time limit can help motivate you to work more efficiently. When allocating time for your tasks, remember to include time for breaks, too. Long study sessions can burn you out and ultimately do more harm in the long run.
You know what activities and things draw your focus away from your responsibilities. Do your best to avoid these distractions. If you find yourself constantly distracted by your phone, social media, or texts from friends, then put your phone on silent and keep it out of your reach and eyesight. If you’re often distracted by mindless browsing online, then use browser extensions or plug-ins that keep you from visiting unnecessary sites.
One Small Task at a Time
Many students looking for tips for managing time in college resort to multitasking to get all their assignments done on time. However, working on multiple tasks at once can be stressful and overwhelming. This can make you less productive. Instead of working on several tasks at once, tackle your to-do list one at a time. Start with smaller tasks to build momentum and confidence, then move on to the bigger projects.
Reward Your Achievements
When you finish your tasks or achieve your goals, make sure you reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big reward. It can be a longer break or a sweet treat or drink. Activities that you identified as your major distractions can also become great self-rewards. For example, if you finish your assignment within the time limit you set, you can take an extended break to browse the web, check your social media, or play a game.
Practice Makes Perfect
Applying these tips for time management in college might seem easy, but it’s not. Don’t let instances when you fail to manage your time efficiently keep you from losing your cool or giving up. Instead, recognize your mistakes, think of how you can do better, and apply them next time.