Ah, college, a time of living on your own, making new friends…and being super busy. We all have to learn how to manage our time better during college. It will help you in college and in the working world. Time management is crucial.
As someone who has both commuted and lived on campus, taken online and on campus classes, and worked as well as gone without a job, I have had a lot of different schedules that I have had to learn to live with and manage my time with.
1. Embrace the 9-5.
Odds are, after college, you will probably have to work from nine am to five pm, or some variation of that. If you schedule all (or most) of your classes during that time and study when you don’t have class, you will have some much more time in the evenings! You can use that time for clubs and organizations, a part time job or hanging out with friends. It’s great.
2. Make Lists.
Before I go to bed, I make a list of what I need to do the next day. It can include anything from working on an assignment to picking up a prescription. I like to see everything that I need to do the next day so that when I wake up, I can get started and conquer the day.
3. Do something First Thing.
This goes along with the previous tip. In order to be productive at the start, I do something small before anything else. It may be washing my face or writing a section of a paper. I grab a glass of water an get to work before anything else. That way, I don’t get distracted by YouTube or other blogs.
4. Use a Timer.
You may have heard of the Pomodoro method for productivity. You work for twenty five minutes then get a five minute break. It helps break things up. Whether you use Pomodoro or another set amount of time, use a timer and race the clock to get sh*t done! Sometimes, I will use the same timer as for my laundry so that I can double my productivity!
5. Listen to Music.
Some people like to use Pandora or Spotify. Some listen to instrumental music. What I like to do is find a single song, usually one that gets me pumped to work, and play it on repeat. The first couple of times do get a little distracting, but after awhile, I don’t even pay attention to the words. The words don’t even mean anything, and listening to the same thing over and over allows me to think about what I’m working on as opposed to the pretty (or cool or interesting) music I’m listening to.
6. Use Your Phone for FlashCards.
Download an app like Quizlet and make flashcards on your phone. That way, you always will have them with you, and you can study on the go. If you only have a few minutes to study between classes or during lunch, you can whip out your phone and your flashcards will be ready to go. Some apps come with cool features where you can shuffle them or add pictures. Either way, you can spend less time searching through your backpack and get more done.
Just, don’t forget to turn on your phone’s Do Not Disturb features to avoid getting distracted by texts.
7. Schedule YOur Time.
If you work better on a schedule, then use that to time when you are going to do different things, like eat or study. If you are one of those people that can stick to a schedule it’s great. That way, you can look at your schedule and see when you are busy and when you are free.
I, personally, don’t work well that way. Instead, I like to give myself a ballpark figure. I determine what I need to do, when I would like to be done by, if possible, and go from there.
8. Work When YOu’re Most Productive.
This is contradictory to the first point I made, but if you are a night owl, don’t feel like you have to wake up early all the time. If you get more done at midnight, then that’s when you should be working. If you figure out when you are most productive, you will work much more quickly and will get more done in less time. Thus, you will free up more time for relaxing or doing other stuff besides work.
9. Skip Over the Hard Stuff.
At first, anyway. If you have an assignment that you just don’t understand, skip it and go back to it later. If you don’t move on to something else, you will just be wasting your time. Give yourself a break and work on something easier. Then after awhile, go back to it with fresh eyes. You have probably heard this tip about standardized testing, but trust me, it works for just about anything.
10. Buddy Up.
If you have a friend in a class, get together with them and work on study guides and other projects as a team when you can. This is especially helpful when one of you understands some content and the other understands another part. You can focus on what you know and then tutor each other on the material you don’t know so well. This doesn’t always work, and some people prefer working alone (myself included), so don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
But as they say, two heads are better than one.
So, those are my ten best tips for time management. I hope you learned a little something and enjoyed reading!
Will you start to implement any of these tips? What did you find the most helpful? Let me know in the comments!