So, I spent a good chunk of time this weekend trying to film a video on time management in college – and my words just weren’t cooperating. I eventually gave up and put that project on the back burner (until next weekend!) but I still wanted to share a few of the key tips I was planning on talking about with you.
Next week when the video is (hopefully!) live, I will embed it on the bottom of this post, and you can watch that if you want a more in depth understanding of how I manage my time, but I thought that with the semester really picking up for a lot of us, that it would be beneficial to publish this now even without the video accompanying it.
We all know the benefits of being good at time management, so I’m not going to preach too much – I’ll just get into some of the steps that I’ve taken.
First off, be present.
This one is really important when it comes to time management and I say this mostly regarding class. When you’re in class make sure that you’re focusing on class. This especially goes out to those of us who bring our computers to take notes on.
My classes have a lot of overlap of information, so sometimes when my professors would start talking about something I already had a thorough knowledge in, I would switch tabs and scroll through Facebook or my email. The problem with that is as soon as the professor moved on to something I didn’t know I wouldn’t notice and I’d miss out on important class information.
This hurts me in the long run, because when it comes to exam time I am going to have a ton of knowledge gaps, meaning my studying is going to be less efficient and I will have to spend a lot of time teaching myself material that should have been learned in class had I been paying attention.
I know, I know. This is so hard. We all know that we shouldn’t procrastinate, and that we are going to regret our procrastination in the long run – be we still procrastinate. When it comes to quitting it is something that you really need to commit to in order to be successful.
My best tip to fight procrastination is to schedule yourself. If you have work to do make a list of everything that needs to be done in the order that you’re going to do it. I always schedule a break or two in there depending on how long my to-do list is because I know that if I force myself to work for 3 hours straight I am going to get off task and waste time. If I schedule 15 minutes of ‘do what I want’ time (and set a timer!!) I will get back on task much easier.
So using a planner is typically point number one on any time management I’m always so shocked by the number of my friends who don’t use a planner. If you ever find yourself surprised by a due date or having to cram last minute for an exam that you forgot about, that is because you’re either not using your planner, or you’re not using it correctly. Write down every possible commitment in your planner (even if you’re sure you’ll remember it) and you will never have that awful, gut sinking moment that comes with realizing you missed a due date.
A quick checklist of how to use your planner:
- Copy the due dates on every syllabus into your planner.
- Write in your club meetings and other weekly commitments in every week.
- Even if you know you’ll remember, it’s nice to have a visual to see how busy you are that day.
- Write in a reminder one week before each exam.
- Look at your planner everyday.
- This is where so many people fail. It does you no good to fill your planner out and then never look at it again!
Stop spreading yourself too thin.
I’m a people pleaser by nature. I want to make sure that everyone is happy and that nobody is facing any undue stress and in the process I make myself unhappy and stressed out. When someone asks me to do something, I will typically say yes no matter what. While I still want to focus on making people happy, I’m not going to do so at the expense of my own happiness and sanity. If you’re in the same boat as me, join me in learning how to say no (despite how hard it seems!)
What are your best tips for time management in college? This is something I’m working at and am by no means perfect at – I want your help!