College Tips

The college crunch: How to manage your time (Part 1)


Why is time management important?

hourglass

Because you’re absolutely, positively not avoiding work by reading this post, right? Just kidding, this post is clearly very important.

Also important? Efficiently managing your time. In college, you have classes, studying, papers, group projects and more. It’s up to you to make sure things get done. Welcome to the college crunch.

Good news: You get to be your own boss! Not so good news: That can be stressful and not fun! But more good news: The advice below will help you meet your goals!

Tip: Approach work like a series of smaller goals

small goals

A big project can be intimidating. But when you think about it, that project is a series of smaller tasks. Smaller, less scary tasks. Create checklists so you can track them. You’ll be more organized and feel good each time you cross off something from the list.

For instance, if you have a mid-term exam, break down your goals into “study week 1 materials,” “study week 2 materials” or something similar. Then it’s easier to stay focused and motivated.

Tip: Prioritize your efforts

prioritize

You can’t do everything all at once. You have to learn to accept that not everything is a top priority right this minute.

What’s more important: A paper due this week, or studying for an exam two weeks away? There will be times you need to spend more time on a tough subject or project. Make those items a higher priority, compared to easier or more enjoyable goals. And yes, there will be times when you have to say no to hanging out with friends. Fun is cool, but you know what’s really cool? ACADEMIC SUCCESS.

Tip: Get enough sleep

sleep

You’re living away from home. There’s a lot to do for each class. And you want to make friends, participate in school activities and explore American life. You also need to make time for sleep.

Without enough rest, you won’t have the energy and focus to be productive. It’s called “diminishing returns.” If you work too hard and for too long, you’ll be too tired to do good work. Yes, you’ll still have some late nights studying, but if you make getting enough rest a priority, then at least the quality of your work will be better, and you’ll be more productive.

Tip: Be organized

organize

In each class, chances are you’ll notice some students who forget about a group study session, can’t find their notes or keep saying that they didn’t have time to do something. Your professors understand that sometimes unexpected things happen. But overall they expect your best effort, not excuses.

So track what needs to get done and prepare ahead of time. Keep a calendar of important deadlines and tests. Be on time for class. These things will help minimize late nights studying or writing papers. Remember that whole “get enough sleep” thing? It’s the best.

We know you’re busy, so start thinking about how you can use these tips to manage your time better. And look for more time management tips coming soon!

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