The college crunch: How to manage your time (Part 2)
Feeling burned out by college work? Read our time management tips. Start from Part 1 to build a good base for being productive. And then put that productivity to use….by reading this article too.
Tip: Get into a routine
Building a routine, or adding something to your life as a habit, helps you stay committed. Instead of forcing yourself to do something, eventually it becomes natural. Like going to the gym every day, or lying to people when they ask if you’ve gone to the gym today.
You know how studying isn’t fun? Imagine if you get into a rhythm of having time each day to prepare for classes. Then you won’t get overwhelmed having to “cram,” or study a lot at the last-minute. That gives you extra time to go to the gym! Or not.
Tip: Try planning backwards
Want to plan ahead? Start by planning backwards. Confused? If you work backwards from your deadline and think about how long task will take, you can get a better sense of when things need to happen.
Let’s say you have a paper due on Friday. Your key steps might be researching, making an outline, drinking way too much coffee, writing the paper, and then editing it. If you just think of the Friday deadline, it’s tempting to say, “Oh, I’ll just start Thursday night.” But by putting realistic estimates of how long you need for each step before the deadline, you can get a clearer idea of when you actually need to start.
Tip: Leave a little for tomorrow
You know how sometimes starting is the hardest part? It’s hard to “get into the zone” and focus when you feel intimidated and unmotivated by a blank screen.
Solve this dilemma by always giving yourself a little something to start with. Before you start writing that paper, write down some key points you want to make or some sources you want to research. Or if you’re already writing, include some notes or ideas for the next section. When you start up again the next day, you’ll already have something to work with. No blank screen, no intimidation, no excuse to watch TV instead.
Tip: Give yourself time to relax
It’s smart to take time for yourself by spending time with friends, enjoying your hobbies or experiencing more fun things about American culture.
You’ll feel refreshed and inspired, which will help you take care of the school stuff. And the international paperwork stuff. And the mobile bill stuff. Yeah, maybe it is time for a little break. And some chocolate.
So what now?
As an international student, there’s a lot to get done. But that doesn’t mean everything needs to take a long time.
Start using the tips above and you’ll notice your time is more productive. Hey, you might even have time to go to the gym. Or, you know, read these other fun and useful articles:
- Tips for Studying for Finals
- Good Conversation Starters for International Students
- American slang words you totes need to know
- How to Be a Good College Roomate