Time Management

How to make the most of each day

For most college students, there’s never enough time to go around. Between schoolwork, employment, social life, recreation and sleep, there are countless demands on every student’s time. Sometimes, it can seem like even if the day was 36 hours long, there still wouldn’t be enough time to get everything done.

Raw intelligence alone is not enough to guarantee success in college. Many gifted students have flunked out simply because they were unable to develop solid time-management skills. You have to take control of your life. Make time management a habit, and don’t let yourself fall into the trap of procrastination.

Take Control of Your Time

Some students honestly believe that they can get by doing things at the last minute. They equate time management and scheduling with placing limits or constraints on themselves. The truth is that most students who manage their time discover that it’s actually quite liberating. It allows them to see all the free time that they didn’t know they had and to make the most of it.

The following is a list of 10 time-management strategies that can help you take control of your time:

  • Buy a calendar and use it. Many colleges sell poster-sized dry-erase calendars. Read all your course syllabi at the start of the term and mark down your due dates on the calendar. Cross off the days as they pass by.
  • Prioritize. Spend your time working on the things that are most important. Write down your academic goals and refer to them several times every term.
  • Make a weekly schedule. Include your class time and any extracurricular activities you have planned. This will allow you to see where you have blocks of free time to use for homework and studying.
  • Plan your class schedule efficiently. You don’t always have control over when your classes are, but try to create a schedule that lends itself to time management. Cut out as much travel time and wasted time in between classes as you can.
  • Make use of downtime. Take a textbook with you wherever you go. You never know when you will have 15 minutes to kill. Use this time to do schoolwork.
  • Keep organized notes. You’ll waste a lot of time if you’re always searching for the lecture notes or handouts you need.
  • Learn to say no. Yeah, it sucks, but your academics have to take priority over your social life.
  • Don’t be a perfectionist. Aim for a high standard, but realize that perfection is often unattainable and you’ll only waste time by insisting that you achieve an impossible goal.
  • Develop a consistent sleep pattern. Your body will get into a rhythm and feel fresher if you go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day. Just make sure that you leave enough time in between to get a full night’s sleep.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Always wake up early enough to have a nutritious breakfast before you go to class. Make time for exercise. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
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