How To Manage Time in College

Time management is something everyone struggles with at one point or another.

It is especially difficult to manage your time in college—classes can be at unconventional times and your parents aren’t there to remind you to do things anymore.

Coming to college is already an odd adjustment and if you fail to learn how to mangage time in college, it will make it that much harder.

Managing your time wisely is essential to being successful in all aspects. You will do better in school, get good night’s rests and have more time to hang out with people, among other benefits.

Here are some habits you can aspire to develop that will help you better manage your time:

Set Alarms

Even if you don’t have class early in the morning, setting your alarm for a decent hour (and actually getting up when it goes off) could give you a couple extra hours a day to do things!

Whether you want to start your day working out, finishing homework or just getting coffee, that extra time in the morning is precious. If you wake up early you will have more time in the day to accomplish things—who would have guessed.

It may seem awesome at first to not have to be at school everyday at ~8am like you did in high school, but that doesn’t mean you should sleep in until your first class of the day everyday.

You can also set alarms on your phone for deadlines you have so you hold yourself accountable. You can set multiple reminder alarms to do something or be somewhere so you’ll never miss a beat. This is the best way to be constantly reminded of what you have to do throughout the day.

Make To-Do Lists

Making a physical list of things you want to accomplish that day or week is a good way to manage time in college and motivate yourself to actually do those things. If you make to-do lists on your phone, you will always have them with you so you can remember when you’re out and about.

You will also feel more organized if you make to do lists. As you complete things on your list crossing them off will give you a sense of accomplishment. This also doesn’t leave room to start projects and not finish them because you can’t cross them off until you’ve finished.

Don’t Procrastinate

This is definitely easier said than done, but you will be happy later if you don’t procrastinate. If you have things to do, get them done now! Why put off until tomorrow something you can do today? Either way you will have to do it eventually so might as well give yourself time to do it right and breathe!

Procrastination is one of those things you do that is awful and counter-productive to learning how to manage time in college, yet you continue to do it. If you do things during the day when you have downtime, you won’t have to crunch at night and you may actually be able to get a good night’s sleep.

Then you will be well rested and able to wake up at a decent time in the morning and do it all over again. That is a much more healthy and productive cycle then late nights, caffeine overload and subpar work.


When you have a lot on your plate, which you often will, the least productive thing to do is freak out. Panicking about everything you have to do won’t help you get it done any faster and the process will be much less enjoyable.

Use the suggestions above to your advantage and relax in knowing that how your time is spent and how you manage your time is in your control.

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Natalie Alexander

Natalie Alexander

Natalie Alexander is a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. In her free time she enjoys traveling, dancing, exploring, swimming, laughing, shopping, napping, writing and spending time with her family and friends.
Natalie Alexander

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