Time is the most valuable asset a person has. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time. College years can be some of the most rewarding and enlightening years of your life. There is so much to experience, so much to learn, and so many people to meet. There are opportunities to sit under the teaching of the world’s brightest, study abroad, fall in love with a new city, and learn more about yourself than any other time in your life.
You will only experience college life once. In the blink of an eye, those four years will be gone. You want to have as many good experiences as possible, but also be successful and excel in your academics. If you learn to develop good time management skills, your success will follow you well beyond college life. Try practicing these tips to make sure you spend your time well.
Write Out a Weekly Schedule
It all comes down to being intentional. Planning your week ahead of time will give you a sense of confidence and accomplishment because you take control of your schedule. A busy schedule can make you feel overwhelmed and stunt your progress. It’s also easier to remember important dates when you write them down. Try starting with writing out your class schedule first.
Prioritize any other tasks, meetings, or study sessions around your classes. Showing up in class on time every day should be your number one priority as a college student because there’s no point being there if you’re not attending classes. You may also have a work-study job or internship hours to include. Working while taking a full course load is a lot to manage.
You will also have to add time with friends, study groups, sports or recreation, and other extracurricular activities. That’s why it’s so important to have a weekly schedule. Remember, time management means choosing to structure and protect your time.
Try to Avoid Being a Procrastinator
For some people, waiting until the last minute to complete a task helps create a sense of urgency that gets the job done. You could get by with this for a little while, and it might even help you make better grades. But, you’re also training yourself to work under pressure and stress.
What happens if you underestimate the time it takes to do an assignment and miss a deadline? It could affect your relationship with your professors, coaches, or employers and set you up to fail. Overall, you will perform better if you schedule plenty of time to complete assignments.
Know When to Ask for Help
You’ve created a weekly schedule and planned enough time to get it done. What happens when there is not enough time left at the end of the week, but you have more stuff to do? Of course, you can’t plan for everything. Sometimes the unexpected happens. You need to know when to ask for help to avoid getting overwhelmed.
You should know when to ask your co-worker to pick up a shift for you or ask a professor for an extension on a paper. You could even use an essay writer for some courses to free up time for other assignments. Most importantly, don’t wait until you’re ready to scream to ask for help. It’s okay to re-schedule and re-assign to make sure you stay in control.
Focus on One Task at a Time
It may feel like you’re making progress when you’re doing several things at once. Surprisingly, multitasking can actually make you less effective at completing tasks. The human brain functions much better when focusing on one thing at a time. It’s probably not a good idea to read your political science book while swiping student IDs in the cafeteria.
It can be tempting to try doing several things at once when your schedule is overloaded. That’s not a good idea. You can always push back less important tasks and finish one thing before starting the next. It’s better to do one thing really well than do a lot of things poorly.
Set Healthy Boundaries for Your Friends
Setting boundaries is probably one of the most difficult things to do as a college student. You want to enjoy the experience as much as possible, but it’s easy to get off track. Commit to getting your work done before you allow time for socializing. Having fun is necessary too, but if you set boundaries at the beginning, you’re more likely to stick to a schedule.
If you have early classes, tell your friends you do not stay up late during the week. You don’t have to be a part of everything. You can decline invitations if needed. Good friends will respect your boundaries and make it easier to achieve your goals.
If you learn time management skills early in life, you’ll be more productive in the long run and achieve greater success. To manage your time well, you should stick to a schedule, avoid procrastinating and multitasking, and know when to ask for help. Your college years are some of the most impressionable years of your life. Make sure you protect and structure your time well now, and you’ll be glad you did later.