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8 effective time management tips for college students

College time management skills

Planning will enable you to balance school work, your day job if you have any, home as well as your social time with family and friends.

Organizing your day will make you more productive and be able to complete as many tasks as possible with minimal stress.

Having proper time management skills goes hand in hand with the other two traits. We all have 24 hours in a day and how well you use them will determine how successful you’ll be in whatever you do – in this case college.

I’m going to mention and describe 8 time management tips you should borrow as a college student to ensure your semesters are a success.

#1. Create a to-do list

Identifying what needs to be done every other day is the first thing you do to enable you to manage your time.

Once you have a to-do list, prioritize the tasks according to their urgency and how much time you need to complete the tasks. Having a plan ensures that you know what to do and when you are supposed to do it. 

Other than having a plan, it is also important to understand your moods and the sort of work you are in the mood for.

For example, you might be feeling creative, this is the right time to work on a writing assignment. If you are feeling focused, this is the right time to research a term paper or study for an upcoming exam

#2, Set a schedule

Agendas and schedules come in very handy when you are trying to be an effective time manager. Look at all the upcoming assignments, CATs, or term papers and write them down according to due dates.

Use the agenda to schedule breaks or fun things to do to relax your mind. You can break your time into 15-30 minute blocks depending on your concentration span.

Some people can’t concentrate on one thing for more than 30 minutes, so having a little break will help you to be more productive. 

#3. Break down big tasks

Having a huge task like writing a 30-page research paper might feel overwhelming. What if you break it down into writing one or two pages per day? Sounds easy, right?

Use this approach for all your college tasks. Break down your big tasks into smaller tasks and work towards the set deadline.

For example, if you have a 100 pages book to read in 2 weeks – you’ll need to read at least 7 pages every day (100/14).

If there’s an essay you should write, break it down into 3 or 4 sections; research and outline, writing, revision, and submission.

#4. Start with the small tasks

As we’ve already noted, huge tasks can be overwhelming and the feeling can be quite crippling which results in procrastination.

Start with the smallest tasks and the ones that have the fewest dependencies then finish with the ones with complicated chart flows.

Ticking one item off your to-do list will give you the motivation to do the rest. You can also have 3 or 4 small tasks in one day and have the bigger task with complicated workflow the next day. 

#5. Identify your time wasters 

Distractions are everywhere! You should pay attention to what steals your attention when you are studying and doing assignments. Some of the most common distratctions to college students are;

  • Social media
  • Browsing the internet
  • Calling and texting
  • Eating and snacking
  • Looking for study materials

To stop wasting your time with either of the above when studying, you should have your phone off or on silent mode.

Using social media or using your phone should come as a reward after having ticked off studying on your to-do list.

Ensure you take enough breakfast or lunch so that you won’t need to abandon your studies to go prepare a meal. Instead, you should use your breaks as snacking times.

Also, before you start studying, ensure you have everything you’ll need in your study space to avoid burning some minutes looking for the study supplies. 

#6. Don’t multitask

Multitasking can lead to a drop in IQ points, similar to people who don’t get enough sleep. Juggling multiple tasks or assignments will see you accomplishing little or nothing. The key to productivity is accomplishing one task at a time. 

Most times, multitasking is brought about by distractions. Therefore, identify your most common distractions; they could be emails, electronics, or social media.

To combat these distractions, you should turn off all your devices. You should also fight any urge to switch to the next task unless you have finished the first one no matter how boring it gets. 

Use a timer to ensure one item on your to-do list doesn’t eat up the next item’s time.

#7. Set realistic goals

Setting goals is essential because it helps you to stay focused on the bigger picture. Ticking off the set goals can boost your morale and hence improve your productivity.

You should set small easily achievable goals over big goals for this approach to work.

For instance, instead of aiming to study for 10 hours in a day, you can decide to study for 2 hours, do another academic task for another 2 hours and then have additional study during other days of the week.

Meeting your daily targets will be more productive in the long run especially when it comes to preparing for a test or quiz. You can gradually increase your goals as the smaller goals become easier to achieve.

#8. Take breaks

Your study sessions shouldn’t be too long as I’ve pointed out in point #7. Break down your study routine into reasonable chunks.

For example, you could take a 10-minute break every 30 – 45 minutes During the break you can snack, meditate, take a walk, etc.

Wrapping it up

Consistent time management skills are a must for you to be a successful college student. These skills are also necessary if you’re to also succeed later on in your career or business.

I hope this guide has given you valuable insight into how to manage time. If you’re a student who also doubles as an employee – this other guide should help you juggle the two without falling behind on either.

If you’re caught up with time and would want assistance without your college assignments – we can get it done for you.

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