A College Student's Guide to Time Management

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It’s getting to be that time of the semester. It feels like you never have a break from project deadlines, upcoming exams, and group meetings. Not to mention club meetings, grocery shopping, unpredictable work schedules, and any other unique responsibilities you may have. So how are you supposed to get it all done? We’ve put together a list of 5 tips to help you manage your time and get through the semester as smoothly as possible.

1. Schedule Time to Relax 
This may not sound like it will help you get work done but trust me, it will. Working nonstop isn’t possible. If you don’t schedule out time to step back and ignore your responsibilities, your mind and body will choose this time for you. Stay a few steps ahead by scheduling out a few fun or relaxing things to do each week. Looking forward to these may give you some hope when it feels like you’re buried in work. 

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2. Write Everything Down
You might feel like you have your schedule all figured out and that you can keep all of your deadlines straight. Maybe this is true, but it’s still helpful to keep your schedule somewhere you can see it and keep an updated calendar of exams, presentations, and assignment deadlines. Getting all this information out of your head and somewhere you can easily access it will clear up room in your mind and make you feel more in control. Not to mention, is there anything more satisfying than crossing items off a physical list? 

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3. Take Advantage of the Breaks in Your Schedule 
Sure it’s tempting to go home and take a nap or throw on Netflix when you have an hour or two to kill between classes, but this isn't the best use of your time. Take this time when you’re already in “school mode” to grab some lunch and catch up on readings, organize your calendar, study for upcoming exams, or practice a presentation. This way you’ll have more time after you finish classes for the day to relax rather than trying to figure out what you need to get done. 

4. Make Your Agenda More Fun 
If you’re just scribbling due dates and reminders in a boring notebook you’re not going to have any interest in checking it regularly. Use online tools like Google Calendar so you can constantly access and update your customized schedule or head over to Marshall’s or Target to pick out a bright, stylish agenda. Color coding, stickers, and customization goes a long way in making you more excited to manage your schedule and time. 

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5. Set a Time Limit to Each Task
Set a time limit for yourself when starting a big assignment. This will keep you from getting distracted or picking up your phone to intermittently give yourself breaks. However, make sure you’re realistic. You don’t want the stress of a time constraint to become the greatest distraction of all. 

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Hopefully these 5 tips will help you feel more in control of your schedule. Have your own methods that didn’t make our list? Let us know! 

Tagged: college tips schedule, time management,