Posts Tagged ‘time management’
Managing your time as a college student isn’t easy! Besides going to class, there’s little else you have to do at a precise time. It’s up to you where you squeeze in meals, sleep, studying, partying, exercise, club activities, and trips home. Fitting everything in perfectly is like working on a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, but it can be done. Check out these seven tips that can help you turn your crazy schedule into something you can control.
This will be the most important thing you learn when it comes to your schedule as a college student. You will find yourself constantly asking, which of these activities is more important? Which of these papers should I start today? How should I spend my evening? If you can learn to accurately evaluate your needs, you will have overcome the greatest challenge of managing your schedule!
Get Down to Business
One of the best things you can do for your time management is to jump right into whatever it is you planned to do. If homework time is after your last class, get right on it. If you like to eat at 6 p.m., don’t spend that hour deciding what it is you want. If you can eliminate wasted time, it will surprise you how much time you actually have!
Eliminate Your Distractions
While it’s probably more enjoyable to text your friends and to watch TV while you work on reading a chapter in sociology, it’s going to take up far more time than it should. You’ll find that when you focus only on your work, you’ll finish faster, understand more, and you’ll have more time and focus to dedicate to fun!
Eliminate What Bores You
If you find yourself in your second year of college going to club meetings for a group your heart is no longer in, do your schedule a favor by letting it go. Your time is too valuable to waste it on things you’re not into anymore.
While organizing your notes, your room, and your car will take a lot of effort at first, the return is a real time savor! This will help you to keep your time “looking for stuff” to a minimum!
Assign Time for Fun
It’s important to do well in school, but it’s also important that you have enough time with your friends. You need a personal life outside of academia! Designate a specific time each week to do something great! “Bad Movie Mondays” or “Pancake Sunday” will give you something to look forward to all of the time!
Assign Time for Sleep
Your sleep is important. Too little of it has its effects, from putting you in a sour mood, to allowing you to make careless mistakes on assignments that could potentially harm your grades. This semester, help your schedule by recognizing your bedtime. When you’re feeling your best, you’ll have more power to get stuff done!
As a new college student, you are likely just getting to know what it’s like to have classes that don’t begin until ten in the morning, or a class that doesn’t begin until seven at night, or a weekday where you have no classes at all! Coming from a rigid and consistent high school schedule, living the life of a college student can seem a little overwhelming. Except for your sporadically-placed classes, your time is very much your own. It’s your job to fit in homework, studying, club meetings, group meetings, meals, friends, showers, and sleep. In addition, you have to work much of that daunting schedule out with a roommate juggling responsibilities of his/her own.
Check out these tips on how you can bounce from high school academia to a successful college student.
Detail a Consistent Schedule
Your schedule is going to change every semester for the next four years. You might go from having no classes on Fridays, to most of your classes on Fridays, or from three hours between classes to having barely enough time to squeeze in lunch. The quickest way for you to adjust to your changing schedule will be to seek out consistency. Once your classes have been registered, look at the time you have left. Pick a time to do homework everyday. What time will you get your meals? What time will you wake up and go to bed? When will you go to the gym or hang out with your friends? If you designate what your time is meant for, and you stick to that schedule, you will adjust in no time!
Set Daily Goals
As much of your time is yours to do as you please, it will be very easy to choose not to do your homework during your morning homework time slot with the intention to do it “later.” It will be tempting to hang out with your friends on a night you had originally planned to write a paper. While this flexibility is nice in many situations, you don’t want to make a habit out of it. Make to-do lists on particularly busy mornings to organize what you plan to get done during what times, and more than likely, you will find yourself staying ahead of the game.
Manage Your Time
If you have a detailed schedule and goals set for yourself everyday, you will still need effective time management in order to cross things off the list! Start major papers and projects well in advance so you don’t find the time you spend working on them leaking into other areas of your schedule. Prevent distractions from social media sites and your smart phone by allowing yourself to only check for updates and messages after you have reached certain points in your project. Leave the TV off while you work. Scheduling breaks during long blocks of studying or paper-writing is a good thing, but set a timer so you don’t Facebook your night away. These will all help you remain focused so you can accomplish what you have set out to do.
Managing your time as a college freshman will be very different than when you were in high school. This is due in part to the style of homework your professors will give you and the intensity of the extra curricular activities you choose. When life gets hectic in college, use these tips to help yourself stay on track!
Prioritize. Figure out which tasks will take the most time and energy. Which tasks are most important or weigh the most heavily on your grade? If you have easy homework due tomorrow, get it done and out of the way so you can focus on the larger projects due down the road that require more preparation time.
Know when to say NO. Don’t take on more than you can handle, especially when school is just starting out and you haven’t found your rhythm yet. You do not have to do it all to be a successful student. You have to do a few things well and with passion.
Get rid of distractions. Force yourself into seclusion if you have to! This means moving to a library study room away from goofy friends, closing your laptop so you can’t see Facebook, and ignoring phone calls until you’ve gotten some work done.
10 Minutes. If you are a habitual procrastinator and refuse to get started on projects or school work you know will take a long time to complete, limit yourself to 10 minutes at the beginning and 10 minutes per day. You might find that its not so bad and you feel good when you get things done. This rule can also apply in different situations – you’re swamped but told a friend you’d get coffee? Tell them you’ve got 3o minutes you’d love to spend with them. Setting up a time frame before your activity starts gives your day structure and will help you plan better.
Start early. Big projects and papers that are due at the end of the semester are daunting. It feels like you have a lifetime to complete them. You don’t. You have one semester. Start now. Use the 10 minute method if you have to. You do NOT want to have to be writing a 20-page paper at 4am the night before it is due. Yuck.
Get a calendar. Write down due dates and appointments.
Use your calendar. Check those due dates and appointments every day. Be in the know and aware of what you have coming up.
One thing at a time. When in doubt, take it one thing at a time. Focus on one thing at a time and slowly, but surely, you’ll get everything done. You can do it!
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We are a generation that might as well consider our cell phone to be an article of clothing. We wouldn’t dare leave the house without it, and we feel naked when we realize we don’t have it. We check our cell phones countless times a day to send and receive texts, check emails, play games, call home, watch videos, listen to music, and surf the web. We have on us at all times this incredible piece of technology, but how often are we using it to assist in our college education?
Here are 5 ways in which you can direct some of your phone’s awesomeness into assisting your student self:
Use Your Calendar:
By taking the time to fill in your schedule, including the times you’re setting aside to eat, do homework, see friends, and sleep, you can effectively plan and manage your time. Smart phone calendars also tend to shade in different colors for the times in which you are unavailable, giving you a more realistic concept of your time than a list of appointments would.
Set Task Alarms:
In addition to using your phone to wake up in the morning, it may be beneficial to set other alarms for the times in which you intend to have specific tasks completed. You’ll be more likely to keep on task not only if you’re setting mini-goals for yourself with your phone, but if your phone has something to say about it if you’re supposed to be done reading a chapter and you haven’t even cracked open the book.
Use Your Notepad:
This comes in handy when you unexpectedly run into your professor in the hallway and he tells you he’s moving the quiz up a day, or when your classmate explains a tough concept at the dining hall you didn’t understand when you were studying. You won’t always have your notebooks with you when you have important information to jot down. By using your notepad, or even texting yourself, you can have a mobile record.
Store Your Classmates:
You should have in your phone at least one person from every class you attend. Having instant access to a classmate is a life savor when you’re sick, when you lose your syllabus and don’t remember what’s due tomorrow, or when you accidentally overslept, and you have an exam in literally three minutes.
Look for Apps:
Countless apps are being created everyday. Look for ones that might assist you in learning. There are apps that let you create flashcards, apps that recite audiobooks, and even apps that help students study specific subjects such as anatomy and physiology. You may also enjoy dictionary and thesaurus applications that allow you to quickly access information without having to travel through a web search.
(It is important to note that while smart phones have the potential to greatly assist us in our education, they should not be used to copy or cheat in school, as those actions are likely to result in expulsion from college.)
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Your over-caffeinated hands are shaking as you disperse syllabi across an unmade bed. Your folders are so stuffed with review sheets that the binding gave way weeks ago. Your dorm room is littered with Post-Its on your microwave, your bed, your door, and your desk. There are equations to remember, bones and muscles to memorize–there is so much to take in and only a few days to do it. Your color-coded calendar continues to mock you with this fact. You dig out a dusty textbook and begin bookmarking everything that looks important, which is wayyyy too many things! There’s not enough time to do this. There’s just too much. You can’t do this. You’re going to fail. You grab a Red Bull and panic.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Health Studies entitled “College Students’ Academic Stress and Its Relation to Their Anxiety, Time Management and Leisure Satisfaction,” academic stress is something most college students experience at some point, most often in their freshman and sophomore years, and more often with women than men. One of the most common stressors in addition to grade competition is the self-imposed perception of workload in conjunction with a particular time frame. In other words, too much to do and not enough time. This panicky, overwhelmed, sleepless feeling at the end of the semester can be reduced by practicing good time management skills all year long! The following is a list of tips to help you better structure your schedule so when finals week hits, you’re in charge and you own your time.
Get Organized: While it might take a few extra seconds to file everything exactly where it belongs, and to write down every assignment, it beats spending hours looking for a paper you lost, or worse, redoing an assignment you misplaced. A planner and an adequate amount of notebook, folder, and binder space is one of the best investments you can make as a college student.
Prioritize: Categorize your assignments into a hierarchy of importance. Complete the hardest and most time consuming assignments first, and save the quick, more fun ones for later. You can also prioritize your time. Sometimes you don’t have the capacity to do everything you wanted. Decide what the best use of your time is, and go with it.
Set Goals: It’s easy to sit down to write a paper and let four hours pass with nothing to show for it, especially if you’re not interested in the assignment or aren’t prepared to write it. By setting goals for yourself such as “finish paper by 5 p.m.” you’re more likely to get things done and stay on pace.
Make Time for You: Despite how busy you may be, everyone needs time to just do what they want, whether that be a twenty minute run, dinner with your friends, or a Sunday evening of video games.
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