Time Management Skills for Students

We all have lists of things that we need to get done, some longer than others. We also all have lists of things we’d like to do instead.

It should be clear to us what we should and should not do at any certain time. However, we all know that sometimes the things we have to do and the things we’d like to do get all muddled up together.

With the often unstructured schedule of college life making it difficult to remember to do the things we must, time management skills are more prevalent than ever.

There are some easy things we can do to ensure that we get all of our tasks done in ample time, and here we outline some time management skills for students!

  • Write things down. This is a simple one, and yet so many people struggle with it. Buy a planner, buy a calendar, or even just a notebook. Use an app on your smartphone or a document on your computer. Whatever helps you to remember things! Write stuff down right when it’s happening too. Don’t trust yourself to remember the details later that evening, because chances are you’ll forget some assignment or meeting. And after you write something down, don’t forget to look at your planner or schedule again, otherwise it does you no good! Carve out a block of time each day to look over your calendar and make sure you have done or are doing all the things you need to be!
  • Make a schedule. With classes at such odd times during the day, and only a few days a week, it can be difficult to get into a proper schedule, as things are always changing. But do your best to do things at roughly the same time each day, that way you’ll be more likely to remember to do it. It takes 60 days for the brain to recognize something as a habit and begin to do it without properly having to think about it. So after a couple months, your brain should be able to do these things on autopilot and you won’t even have to consciously think about doing it!
  • Set goals. Make a list – either in your head or on paper – of the things that you absolutely must accomplish on a given day. Then try to schedule out times to do them, and stick to the times. This helps discourage procrastination and encourages you to get your work done. So even if you don’t accomplish anything else that day, you know you did what you absolutely had to.
  • Work first. If you only have a couple chapters to read and a few paragraphs of a paper to finish for the day, it would be easy to hop on the internet, flick on the television, or go have some fun with friends, and leave all the other stuff to the end of the day and the last possible second. But if it’s at all possible, you should really try to finish your work before you go have fun or enter a vegetative state. It feels much better to be able to do whatever you want to without having to worry about assignments and due dates hanging over your head. The same thing goes for weekends; if there’s any way you can finish – or even make a large dent – in your workload for the weekend on Friday or Saturday, then you can take the rest of the weekend to relax and have fun without dealing with work.
  • Avoid procrastination at all costs. This kind of goes along with the previous point, and is also common sense, but many people need to hear it still. If you leave everything til the last minute because you were busy having fun or you just didn’t want to do your work, all it’s going to get you is sub par work, and a lot of stress and lack of sleep. It’s not worth your sanity to leave it all til right before the deadline, it’s just too much stress and frustration. Do all you can to pace yourself and work on the project or assignment steadily, you’ll be much happier in the long run.

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Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson

Elizabeth Benson is a freshman at Central Michigan University, currently pursuing a degree in Journalism. Elizabeth is a member of the CMU Honors Program, and is a staff reporter at Central Michigan Life, the student run campus newspaper. When she’s not in school, she can usually be found reading, writing, or watching movies, and enjoys traveling and performing in plays.
Elizabeth Benson

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