For most college students, time management is a serious problem that often comes out unresolved. This could be because they feel it takes too much time to plan time or things never go as planned.
The inability to plan time properly eventually leads to missed schedules, always being late for appointments, and a generally low productivity rate, especially for college students who have an array of activities in which they are involved both curricular and extra-curricular activities.
Most students have to juggle between family, student jobs, college coursework, sports, social and academic clubs, and more.
The zeal to get things done can only take you so far, and if care is not taken you will find yourself less and less attention to activities that matter. Not to forget that after a daily routine, with unfinished tasks left undone, you would feel stressed, uneasy, and unproductive.
So, in this article, I have put together a few tips to help you with your time management and scheduling as a college student, as I know how important it is to maximize your time fully.
I will also tell you more about the benefits of time management and why time management seems to be a problem for most college students.
Now, let’s not waste time any further; let’s first understand time management.
What is Time Management?
According to an article by Psychology Today, they defined time management as, your ability to plan and control how you spend your day to accomplish the goals you have set effectively. Your time has to be effectively apportioned to different spheres of your life- work, lectures, family, studies, clubs, sports, and social life.
It is important to note that everyone has a different goal in life, and as such different activities carry different weights. It is key always to set clear goals and priorities to enable you to group activities into essentials or activities that matter and non-essentials or time wasters.
One of the major disadvantages of poor time management is habits like procrastination which
erodes the overall quality of life and leads to dread, undue anxiety, and at times depression because of the feeling of underproductivity. It’s been said that how well a student manages his or her time generally affects overall well-being by the end of the session, week, or year.
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The importance of time management cannot be exaggerated, with benefits that are assured to help students succeed.
As a student, time management is essential if you wish to be on top of your academics cause, most of the time, extra-curricular activities might take up most of your time, leaving your academic studies in shambles.
Other times, with poor time management, some students might spend all their time in libraries or classes with no social or sports life or extracurricular activities.
With the inception of online classes, most students might feel it allocates more time for certain other activities factoring out time spent getting to classes. However, this gives an elusion of the amount of time they would need to spend on their coursework, giving a false impression that the coursework isn’t as bulky as it used to be.
In actuality, however, proper time management is required at this time more than ever to help manage these little time gains that come from attending online classes and meetings in order not to find yourself more choked up in work than you would have when you had to attend physical classes and meetings.
Also, see Unavoidable Time Management Tips For College Students In 2024
Benefits of Time Management
The benefits of proper time management, in my personal opinion, can’t be exaggerated. It might seem like a lot of work setting up a proper time management plan and adhering to it, but it pays in more ways than none in the long run.
Everyone has only 24 hours in a day, and planning out your 24 hours properly is important. You should have an insight into how your days would play out beforehand and, as such, help with time management and planning.
Being able to plan your schedule in such a way as to incorporate tasks of higher priority and allocate time to these tasks can help bring a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Some benefits of time management include less stress, fewer mistakes,
more free time for relaxation and leisurely activities, and space to pursue new opportunities. By having a well-planned schedule and sticking to it, you can improve your overall productivity at school, work, or socially.
Here are some of the benefits of time management highlighted;
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Increases the pace and quality of your work when you properly plan for a project before it begins
By prioritizing tasks, you would focus energy in the right direction, distributing the right amount to individual tasks.
You would have more control and progress in your schoolwork. You would be less likely to feel stressed about other aspects of your life.
It would help allocate more time to relax when needed and give you the time for other commitments and relationships outside college and school work.
Why is Time Management a problem for college students?
As college students, you would be presented with certain responsibilities, distractions, and challenges unlike they had had before in their pre-college lives, in which parents and guardians mostly shielded them.
It now falls upon you to navigate and take control of your life and these new responsibilities with little or no knowledge of how to do so, keeping in mind that experience is, most of the time the best teacher there is.
For most college students, this is their first time experiencing the freedom to do with their time whatever they wish, which sometimes leads to a lack of organization seen in most college students.
Time management is necessary for organizing our environment and making tasks easier to accomplish.
With so many activities to choose from, it’s no surprise that most college students get over-engaged and have a poor time management plan, leaving them in shambles at the end of each day.
Most students, however, go through this cycle throughout their school years but keep to the cycle when there is a better, easier, and more effective way to live and manage your time as a college student.
Time management tips for College Students
Now let’s get to the main focus of this article. I will be laying down some tips to help you create an effective time management plan and keep to it.
Here are the best time management tips:
1. Define and Prioritize Tasks:
First, you must organize and prioritize your tasks before moving them into motion. This would help you with rationing your task to each activity. Activities of higher priority get more time than those of lower priority.
You also get to define which time of the day is most convenient to perform a given task. Some students are early morning readers, some prefer to read at night, and some like their little doses at the library.
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Defining each task would help you to allocate portions of your day to it in such a way as to maximize the time spent on the task.
2. Break Up Big Tasks:
Now, it might not seem as much, but breaking down big tasks does much better for you as a student than you know. Let’s take; for example, you have a bulky course that you have to work on or, let’s say, a term paper of about 20 pages.
You could split it up, doing a few pages every day until you finish up before the deadline, then having to compound all the work and work on pages 1 to 20 all in one day, all in a vein to meet the deadline for submission. You can see why this is a major tip, as it involves time management.
Remember that breaking down cumbersome tasks would go a long way to ease the workload and perfect the project at the end of the day.
This is one of the time management tips for college students
3. Use a Checklist:
Using a checklist might seem like something meant for groceries, but it would also work well for students to help cross tasks off the list. The thinner the list gets, the more accomplished you feel.
Checklists also function as a psychological tool that gives you a certain level of gratification each time something is checked off your list.
4. Create Rewards:
You might think this part is kind of unnecessary but believe me, it is not. A reward system would motivate you to do more regardless.
For each task and schedule, you can attach a reward, be it some leisure time you can do whatever you want or a favorite snack to pat yourself on the back. Trust me; rewards would always go a long way.
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5. Set a Schedule:
No matter how cliché it might be, it is time to put pencil to paper and pen down a schedule. Most times, keeping it all planned out in your head doesn’t do the trick.
You would need some visual reminders to keep you on track and alert you, if possible, when it’s time to start a new activity.
6. Set Realistic Goals:
In all you do, don’t forget to be a bit realistic. Setting realistic goals helps boost your self-esteem and well as helps you improve and progress. You can’t set a goal of studying a textbook of 1000 pages in an hour and expect to meet up to expectations.
It keeps your schedule filled with leftovers that weren’t factored into the initial schedule leading to further rescheduling and time-wasting. So, while time managing, set up realistic goals and work towards them with one foot in front of the other.
7. Wake Up Early:
We all know the saying, “The early bird gets the worm”. That applies to planning and managing your time as a college student. As a college student, you can never underestimate the importance of waking early.
It gives you more awake time to work within a day. Remember, the longer you sleep the more hours pass by with no activities. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sleep or get enough sleep (at least 6 hours) because you would need rest for maximum functionality but need not forget, never overdo it.
8. Eliminate Distractions:
You might never know how much time distractions take until you are on a tight schedule and decide to take a sneak peek at social media. You would not see it but time would basically fly by in a flash, leaving you wondering where all the time has gone.
To optimize and properly manage your time, you would try all things possible to eliminate distractions and focus on the task you are currently on. In that way, you maximize the time spent.
9. One Task at a Time:
As great as multitasking sounds, most of the time, it’s not as productive. When planning time management, you should work on each task as a unit and try as much as possible not to mix up more than one task per time. This would help you focus more on the current task and do it perfectly while at it.
10. Understand What Each Task Requires:
Understanding what each task requires would help you prepare for
each task you would have to tackle. Prepare all you need beforehand, and
then you can tackle the tasks at the right time.
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Frequently asked questions on time management tips for college students
Time management is your ability to plan and control how you spend your day to accomplish the goals you have set effectively.
Some of the benefits of time management include reduced stress, increased productivity, and improved organization.
So, there you have it. If you follow these tips, you will properly manage and schedule your time, inevitably improving your productivity and reducing stress. I hope you enjoyed reading this article on time management tips for college students.
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