The ability to successfully balance the hours of the day is an important skill to possess at any stage of life, but in college it is a necessity. When you are taking classes, it seems there is an abundance of everything – work, studying, and reading, but the one thing you might feel is you don’t have plenty of time. Developing strategies to budget your time will lessen your stress and keep your goals on target. There are few approaches in using time management that will help keep you on track.
Taking some time to do some pre-planning will enable you to prioritize the next day and you’ll know what needs to get done in order of importance; don’t procrastinate the important tasks.
2. Put together a list of your short and long term goals
Outlining your objectives helps keep you focused and on schedule. By setting goals you will be able to see your accomplishments as you reach each milestone. Tracking your progress and seeing advancement is a great motivator.
3. Create a planner and/or calendar
Schedule and budget your time wisely by sticking to a routine, planning your work will help you stay on top of your coursework. This is especially true for those long term assignments. At first, it may seem as if you have plenty of time, but due dates have this terrible habit of creeping up on you. If you use an online calendar or one on your smartphone, set that up to send you an email or an alarm reminder to reinforce your planner with another visual.
4. Multi-task wherever possible
There are times where this is not possible because an assignment needs your full attention, but there are also occasions where you can get chores done and study at the same time.
If you have laundry to do or have idle time in between classes, bring your text and notebook to go over lecture or get a jump start on your essay paper. If you frequently travel and aren’t driving, consider turning to studies during the ride. By carrying study materials around enables this can help you stay on top of assignments anytime you have a few minutes to spare (some of my best papers were written in airport terminals!)
5. Schedule classes when you are at your best
It’s a good idea to not register for a course that is either too early in the morning or too late at night. Pay attention to your early bird or night owl tendencies and where possible, plan classes when you are at your best wherever possible. If you are fatigued it will affect your motivation and ability to stay alert. Through careful schedule planning, you’ll have better focus in class and throughout your day and be less apt to feel tired or want a nap at a time you should be studying.
Spending time with your friends is important, but don’t let outside activities consume your time. It’s easy to get sidetracked when getting out is more appealing. In order to keep up with your academics and get good grades, you’ll need to find ways to balance time for work and time for fun.
7. Lab time
If you don’t have a printer and/or need to use specific software in one of the school’s labs, make time in your schedule to visit the lab in order to get your assignments finished in a timely fashion. Jot down their hours of operation and make a mental note of any “busy” times where it might be harder to get a station. Also, check to see if there is a sign-up list to reserve a block of time.
There are many advantages in learning how to successfully manage your time. Achieving it will reduce your pressure, enable you to stay on target with your obligations. You might even find yourself having extra time every so often, and when that occurs, treat yourself to something nice. Perhaps a lazy afternoon or an evening out on the town; while managing your tasks is critical to college success, it’s important to fit a little fun in there too.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.