Time management is a life skill that everyone should develop, especially during high school and college years. It creates a foundation for focus and productivity that will enable you to get better grades with less stress. You must learn to balance time between classes, friends, work, exercise and studying. Temptation abounds! Friends want to go to a party, your roommate wants to order pizza and watch a movie, and you’re addicted to playing video games… Creating a framework with boundaries, perhaps with ‘punishments’ and ‘rewards’ will enable you to do better. To help you, we have prepared 10 time management tips for college students.
1. Value Your Time
As you grow older, your responsibilities also grow. As a result, you have less leisure time. Learning that you must trade your time based on importance of the time spent becomes a critical skill. Hanging out with friends or working on a term paper? If the paper is due tomorrow, you may have no choice. Conversely, if you completed the assignment early, it may make the decision more fun. All time is not equal.
2. Start (Everything) Early.
Wake up early in the morning. Work on homework assignments well before they are due (so you can ask questions or find help). Procrastination is the enemy.
3. Say No More Often.
If you’re a people-pleaser, you probably say YES to all kinds of requests. Can you help me move? Want to go to the movies with me? Do you feel like blowing this off and watching TV instead? Just. Say. No.
4. Go to Class. Always.
Unless you’re really sick, attend every class. Don’t hang out in the school commons and socialize, or skip class to watch YouTube videos. It’s amazing what you’ll capture by being in class, and how difficult it is to catch up if you miss.
5. Study Every Day.
Cramming does not work. You’ll learn material much faster and with greater understanding if you review your notes at the end of each day. Spend a few minutes before or after dinner just re-reading what you wrote/typed in class. No big deal…except when it comes to learning!
6. Divide and Conquer.
It’s far easier to complete (and start, for that matter) projects if they are taken in small bites. Big term paper? Invest an hour, early in the process, in learning what you need to know. Consider it an orientation. Tough computer assignment? Do the first part of the project the day it is assigned, allowing you time to ask the teacher or a classmate for assistance in getting on the right track. Think in small time increments (20 minutes, 30 minutes, one hour) as your building blocks to productivity.
7. Stick to a Schedule.
Routines increase productivity. You know your class schedule, and you’re going (right?). You may have a work schedule, so factor that in. Allocate time for daily studying (not just cramming) to solidify your learning over the course of the school term. Use your smart phone and/or computer to keep your schedule up to date.
8. Keep a GREAT Task List.
If you want to stress yourself out, try to keep track of everything in your head. As David Allen explained in “Getting Things Done” just putting to-do list items on paper reduces stress on your brain. Write it down or put it in your app for tasks. Review the list or app tasks regularly (daily, weekly).
9. Make Friends in Class.
If you’re sick, behind in learning or needing to work on a group project, you’ll be ahead in the game if you have friends in your classes. Miss a class? Get the notes. Confused on a topic? Ask. Forming a group? Pick the people you WANT to work with.
10. Prioritize Where You Invest.
Spend more time on the classes that matter for your degree than the ones you just take for fun. Invest time in the core concepts of each class – the Pareto Principle (AKA the 80/20 rule) applies in all cases (spend 80% of your time on the 20% that matters most). If you build this skill early, your life will go much smoother!
Enjoy These Time Management Tips for College Students
Our company philosophy is based on maximizing productivity – we specialize in note-taking, but that’s just one element of the big picture. If you take great notes, you’ll do better. If you USE those great notes in the best way, you’ll crush it in school. You’ll make better grades, you’ll learn more (most importantly) and you’ll have less stress (yes, that’s pretty important too).
We hope you enjoy these time management tips for college students. If you do, we’ll really appreciate it if you post comments and share articles with anyone who you think may find it useful.