5 Time Management Skills for College Students

Before entering college my main worry was, how on earth will I manage school, work, friends and getting sleep.

I imagined that it was going to be twice as difficult as high school. However, have no fear. I am here to reassure you that if you can make it through high school you can make it through college.

Don’t get too comfortable though, it takes good time management skills for college students to keep stress levels down and get the best of both worlds, school and having fun.

If you are preparing for your first year in college or already in your first year and having trouble balancing your social life between school I have some easy time management strategies for students that will help you keep yourself sane.

Here are five time management skills for college students that have been working for me:

Disconnect yourself from the internet

No, not completely. However, if you are able to have control over going on Facebook, checking emails, tweeting and searching through Pinterest you will be able to finish your homework twice as fast.

Sometimes it is difficult to deactivate your Facebook because you might use it for group projects or organizations you are involved in. If that is the case I would recommend that you try to limit the time you spend on social media sites to certain times of the day, like on your lunch break or before you go to bed.

Many of us now can access email and social networking sites through our smart phones, this can cause a huge distraction as well. My advice is to start off by not checking your Facebook, Twitter or even email as soon as you wake up. There is no reason for you to do it immediately. Starting your morning with social networking is preparing your day for disaster.

I know it’s addicting but by controlling yourself to focus on other tasks through out your day will help you manage your time better and be less distracted.

Get assignments done ASAP!

You may feel that it is unnecessary to get an assignment done the first day it is assigned, especially if you have one week to complete it. I’m here to tell you that it is necessary if you want to be less stressed and have extra free time over the weekend or even throughout your week.

In my experience, when I have one week to do an assignment but do it on the day it was assigned I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. While my other friends and classmates wait to do their assignments on Sunday, I can have my whole weekend to focus on having fun or even taking care of other responsibilities that need tending to.

By being one step ahead on at least one assignment every week I can assure you that it will only benefit you by causing less stress in your life. After all, we are college students, we have enough to worry about. Why make it worse by waiting till the last minute to do homework? Get it done ASAP!

Write down everything

Buy a planner and a calendar. The one key to remembering the 100 things you have to do are these essential tools. Some people like to use their cell phones or computer planners and that is ok, but in my opinion, there is nothing like checking off something from your list of “Things To Do.”

With so much to do and keep track of, it is necessary to have a system where you can look at your tasks for the day and for the whole week. This helps you to plan ahead. Schedule when you are going to eat, call your parents, take a nap, do laundry and exercise.

The more busy your schedule gets the more important having a calendar and planner will be. It is important to find a system that works for you, if your cell phone calendar is not big enough buy a paper one. It is important to be comfortable with your tools and actually use them.

Learning to say “no”

There is always going to be a party that you want to go to, a movie that your roommate wants you to go see or your favorite band might be playing a show on a Tuesday night. It is scenarios like these that we have to stop and think to ourselves, “Do I have homework? Will I wake up on time for class in the morning? Should I be studying instead?”

I cannot count how many times I had to pass up an opportunity to have fun through the week because I had to do a project or because I had to wake up early for class. You know yourself better than anyone which means you know that if you need eight hours of sleep you should not stay up late on a school night.

Learning to say no is completely OK. Other students are in the same boat as you and will understand if you have an exam to study for or work at 7 a.m. Learning how to say no can be difficult, especially when you want to participate but saying yes to everything will be even worse.

Prioritizing is key

No matter how organized and on schedule you are things will still go wrong. This is why it is important to know how to prioritize your time and know what is most important. Start by measuring the value of each of your tasks.

If you have three tasks to complete before bed and they are studying for a midterm, watching The Walking Dead and going to the gym, it is obvious that the first priority is studying and depending how much you get done will reflect wether you have time to watch your favorite show and exercise.

It is important to compare outcomes once making a decision. You know that by studying you will do better on the exam which will help you to do well in the class. By choosing to watch your favorite television show will only ensure that you are closer into the season, which could have happened at anytime thanks to re-runs and Netflix.

So if you encounter a problem such as this remember to weigh out the outcomes of your decision and you should then be able to prioritize your time sufficiently.

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Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska

Rachel Talaska is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing degrees in public relations, journalism and marketing. Besides being in class, Rachel can be found working at the campus newspaper, Central Michigan Life in the advertising department or watching re-runs of "Friends." She hopes to one day move to a big city and find her dream job. Rachel enjoys fashion, eating healthy (with the occasional bowl of ice cream), fitness, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Rachel Talaska

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