Within the first few weeks of their freshmen semesters, most college students find that they aren’t nearly as prepared for certain aspects of life as they thought they’d be. In particular, these young adults often discover they’re ill-prepared for the time management skills that come with being a student.
Try These 6 Time Management Tips
Life as a college student can be fun, but it also comes with its own unique challenges and difficulties. Students often find themselves balancing classes, homework, jobs and internships, social groups, and extracurricular activities. Without a plan, it can all become a bit overwhelming.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unable to juggle all of the responsibilities that have suddenly landed in your lap, you aren’t alone. But instead of melting into a ball of stress, you should be proactive and address the situation head-on.
Here are some time management tips to get your life as a student back on track:
- Create a Schedule
Gone are the days when you could just take life as it came to you. As a young adult, you have to be more intentional with your time. This means creating a schedule to stay on top of obligations. Try using a scheduling software or app that connects to all of your devices. This will prevent the risk of “double booking” your time or forgetting about appointments.
- Group Similar Tasks
Start each day and week with a list of tasks that you need to accomplish. And while you won’t always be able to perfectly organize your day, try to group similar tasks together whenever possible.
“If you have to make a few phone calls in one day, it doesn’t make sense to call one person in the morning, one in the evening, and one at night (unless you know for sure they have differing schedules),” says property management company Green Residential. “It’s more efficient and effective to deal with similar tasks at one time. It helps you be in the right mental space to take proper care of the tasks, and you’ll get them done faster.”
- Kill Distractions
Even the most well-intentioned student can easily veer off track when distractions enter into the picture. Simply opening up Instagram, for example, can cause you to waste 30 minutes of your day. To prevent distractions from causing you to procrastinate, kill them at the root.
“While you are studying or writing, turn off your phone’s ringtones and vibrations and put it in a drawer where you won’t be tempted to answer calls and messages,” APS Institute advises. “Allow yourself to check your phone only once per hour. Get off Facebook, Messenger, YouTube and other distractions. Save them for when you are relaxing.”
You know your weaknesses, so be honest with yourself and avoid situations where these factors come into play.
- Take Breaks
Time management isn’t about constant productivity. If you’re always on the go, you’re going to drain your energy and wear yourself out. Schedule breaks and make time for relaxing, hanging out with friends, exercising, and resting. You’ll return to your work fresher and more engaged.
- Find Your Peak Productivity Window
Some people are more productive in the wee hours of the morning, while others hit their groove in the late afternoon or evenings. College is about figuring out who you are as a person. Make it a point to learn about how you work and when you’re most efficient. Then block off this time of the day to handle the most important tasks.
- Get Some Sleep
There’s a fine line between being lazy and not getting enough sleep. In order to maximize your productivity and manage your time more intelligently, it’s important that you get enough shut-eye. Seven to nine hours is ideal, but quality matters more than quantity.
Prepare for the Real World
In case you’re wondering, the rest of your life is about to be one big time management puzzle. This is just your first taste. As you continue to mature and enter into new stages of adulthood, you’ll find that any time management skills you acquire during the college years will help you master your career, family life, and other responsibilities.
Don’t miss the opportunity to learn these skills now!