Trying to keep up with college class assignments and college life at the same time is not an easy task. It’s important that, as a college student, you learn time management skills now; not only to make the most out of your college experience but to prepare for the professional world after graduation. Here are some tips for effective time management to help you keep up with your studies, work, and more:
Have a routine
You might not be able to anticipate everything that happens during the week, but having a routine and trying to stick to it will help you keep up with the things you can control. Create a routine at the beginning of the semester so you can give yourself time to adjust. Once you have a better idea of recurring due dates and class workload, you can adapt your weekly schedule and include other activities, such as gym time, volunteering or meeting with friends, around your study time.
Pro tip: Use the Strides routine app to track your habits!
Set a timer
Time management isn’t easy for everyone. If you’re struggling with getting things done, try the Pomodoro Technique. For instance, set a timer for 30 minutes to work on a task without interruption. Working at intervals makes it easier to avoid distractions and increase productivity.
Pro tip: Check out Pomodoro apps such as Focus Booster, PromoDone, or the Chrome extension Tomighty, which allow you to customize your work-time periods, track your progress, and link to your favorite time management apps.
Think this: taking a bit of time to organize your things today will save you a lot of time tomorrow.
A messy bedroom, workspace, or bag can become a cluttered mind. Make your bed every morning, leave your room and desk tidy, and find ways to keep your backpack organized. Separate your assignments, notes, and other school material in different folders and notebooks (follow these tips for organizing files on your computer).
Use your phone wisely
Your phone can be much more than a distraction, it can help you manage your time more efficiently, remind you of tasks, and lets you do things on the go. Set your calendar with due dates and reminders to help you save time. Use time management apps such as Todoist or Wunderlist to organize your days and get stuff done.
Write things down
Are you taking notes for class? Rather than doing it on your laptop, we recommend writing notes on paper. Studies have shown that taking notes on paper aids our brain and helps us to remember things better. That’s a lot of study time off your hands! Plus, the act of writing things down allows you to keep track of your daily tasks and helps minimize stress.
Avoid the snooze button
We’ve all been there: last night you promised yourself you’d be up early to get a head start on the day. Then your alarm goes off and “5 more minutes” turns into an hour which turns into a day of running around trying to make up for sleeping in. The key is in learning how to wake up early. Try this:
- Focus on the reason you’re waking up early.
- Put your phone somewhere where you’re forced to get out of bed.
- Use a sleep tracker such as Sleep Cycle to wake up during the light sleep phase.
- Don’t take screens to bed!
Check out this article for more tips on how to avoid the snooze button!
Fighting the urge to go on Facebook or Instagram every five minutes is not an easy task, but there are plenty of resources you can use to help you focus and get things done on time. Check out Freedom, an app that lets you block distracting websites and apps, and the internet from your phone, computer or tablet, to help you be more productive. Or, download the Stay Focused extension on your browser to limit the time you waste on the computer.
Make a list and cross things off it
What feels better than getting something done? Crossing it off the list. When you make a list, you’re breaking things down into basics and helping your brain go into action mode. When you cross something off the list, it gives you that sense of accomplishment that can push you to do the next thing. Making lists increases your productivity, helps you prioritize tasks, and is a useful external memory tool.
Check out these list pads on Amazon!
Did you like any of these suggestions? Let us know what works best for you in the comments!