You may have read the title of this article and thought to yourself, “I’m a college student, there’s no such thing as time management!” Well, our team at Behind the Bricks is here to prove you wrong. In fact, time management is key to having a successful college experience. From balancing homework, classes, jobs, a social life, and much, much more, it is essential to know where you are putting most of your time. Here are some tips on how to effectively stay on track:
In today’s day and age, plenty of people find themselves using the calendar on their cellphones, or planner apps on their tablet that they carry around. While this method may work well for some people, there is something so satisfying about physically crossing something off of your to-do list once it is fully completed. If you already find yourself using your cellphone, computer, or some other piece of technology to help you stay organized, try using a physical planner as well. You can go crazy with colored pens, doodles, and checklists. It’s definitely worth trying out!
- Prioritize everything
When students think about prioritizing the things in their life, they often think about which assignments they should complete first, before beginning the next one. While this is extremely important to help you stay on track in your classes, prioritizing should go beyond your classwork. First off, list everything that is important to you on a sheet of paper. This could be homework, friends, working out, volunteering, etc. Then on a daily or weekly basis, put numbers next to each item on your list in order of importance. If you find that you haven’t gone to the gym in a month, getting back into working out may fall higher on your priority list than hanging out with your friends one week. This is a great way to visually see what’s important to you, and what you should be focusing your energy on at given points in time.
- Get into a routine
As college students, it’s sometimes difficult to get into a daily routine. Our class schedules are different every day, our work schedules change, and so does our homework load. Although it may be difficult at first, try planning your week out before it starts and try sticking with your plan as the week plays out. After a few weeks you will begin to develop a routine once you get used to the swing of things. A routine allows for you to make time for all of the things you need to get done, which equals managing your time effectively!
- Practice self-care
This is something else that college students often find themselves neglecting. Self-care and physical health is extremely important when it comes to time management. If you put too many things on your plate at once, and you find your health begins to become compromised, your routine you have developed will become disrupted. It is better to avoid this all together by setting aside time for rest, physical activity, and hobbies that bring you happiness.
- Find balance in everything that you do
Balance is key when it comes to time management. If you find yourself hanging with friends all the time, and you are submitting assignments in late, you are out of balance. Although some weeks you may have a light workload and are able to spend more time with your friends, it is important to realize that other weeks it may be the opposite, and you have to adjust.
- Wake up at the same time everyday
You may be wondering how this is related to time management, but trust us, it is! When you train your body to wake up at the same time every morning, regardless of when you have class, your body gets used to being in a natural rhythm. This will allow for you to be more awake throughout the day, have less crashes, and be productive on mornings where you don’t have anything scheduled. It takes a couple of weeks for your body to get used to a new sleeping and waking up schedule, but we strongly urge that you give it a try!
- Do not be afraid to say “no” to things
This is something that is often times learned the hard way. If you take on every opportunity that comes your way, you will burn out. Take it from me, as I’ve gone through this multiple times myself! Just because an opportunity comes knocking on your door, does not mean that you have to take it. Think about the time commitment, the work involved, and if it will cause your time management to go out the window.
There you have it, time management is possible as a college student, contrary to popular belief! Try the tips listed above, and see how your daily life changes. You will be more balanced, on track, and able to conquer any busy schedule with ease.