Time management as a college student

Losing track of time.

While time management is a commonly discussed topic, many of us struggle with the basic principle of managing our time responsibly. As such, we often find ourselves rushing, procrastinating and decreasing the overall quality of things that might even be enjoyable. As college students, we are overwhelmed with responsibilities. From classes to jobs, career prep, potential graduate school considerations and family responsibilities, college students across America face a packed schedule during their peak physical years. Although I severely struggle with time management, there are several techniques I use to increase my productivity, efficiency and time management skills, as I balance the many responsibilities in my life. 

Before you are able to clearly and effectively manage your time, it is critical to understand your responsibilities, both in and out of school. Be sure to keep a close eye on all your ever changing responsibilities and understand what they each imply. If you are working while completing your degree, be sure to keep track of your work responsibilities and make sure you understand what they entail, while ensuring that your work does not impede on your ability to complete your degree. By understanding and keeping track of your responsibilities, you are best positioned to successfully and thoroughly complete all the tasks at hand, all while managing your time as efficiently as possible. 

Being organized is a critical step in managing your time efficiently. While this may seem cliché, organization is key for any student, particularly college students. Put your assignments in your Google Calendar and sync it between your phone and laptop. My personal suggestion is to make a Google Drive that you use only for your school documents. In doing so, you won’t confuse your personal and work documents with your school documents. Stay on top of your assignments and stay in constant communication with your professors to ensure that you won’t fall behind. While this may sound like common sense to a lot of people, the unfortunate reality is that many students struggle with basic organizational skills, and at times, we all struggle with organization. Organization is the first of many steps to effective time management.

In our modern technology filled world, technology can help us effectively keep track of our many responsibilities. Be sure to set alarms in your phone to help you study and change the tasks you may be doing. Be sure that you are not spending too much time on one task, because doing so may lead to less time on other tasks. As you study, be sure to allocate enough time to sleeping, homework, work and other tasks you may be required to do. Keeping a checklist on your phone will be sure to remind you of any upcoming tasks or exams you may have coming up. As our time is limited, utilizing all tools around you to the fullest extent will be sure to maximize your productivity in school and beyond. 

Before you begin any course, fully understand the implications that course has. Whether it's a final project, required attendance or something as simple as buying a textbook, understanding what a course entails is critical in the successful completion of said course. Plan out your semester, beginning to end, adding major assignment due dates. Although professors may change the content on the syllabus, for the most part, they won’t deviate too far from due dates. Utilize every spare moment you have.  If a professor cancels class, take that time to catch up on some readings rather than catch up on "Squid Game" episodes. 

While I am no expert in time management, I can tell you there are many tips and tricks I use to maximize my productivity during especially busy periods of my life. Keeping your life organized and staying on top of future assignments may sound simple, but we all struggle with these basic principles at times. 

 

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