All college students suffer distractions, whether from extracurricular activities, surfing the Internet, meeting new people or working a job. Discover resources that can help students better manage their time.
Time Management Tips
Many universities offer time management techniques that can help college students succeed in their classes. These tips include eliminating procrastination, better organizing daily activities, reducing anxiety and increasing motivation and confidence. Dartmouth College and Pennsylvania State University have outlined several time management tips on their school websites.
When developing time management techniques in college, it’s important that students first understand their goals and then set out to develop and follow a routine schedule. Without these factors, it may be hard for students to get motivated to employ their time management strategies. Students may download or purchase a scheduler; a weekly, monthly and yearly planner; and worksheets pertaining to the distribution and organization of one’s tasks. This will help them avoid waiting until the last minute and having to cram.
Many universities recommend that students take the time to plan each school day. Making a daily list of tasks to accomplish can help students to concentrate on tasks one at a time. Individuals should be specific when setting goals. For example, a student might want to set the goal of reviewing his or her lecture notes each day after classes. It can also be helpful to schedule fixed blocks of time to study with clear start and stop times, as well as specified break periods. Students can start with more difficult subjects first and also work on assignments or tests that are due first.
Use Mental Exercises
Students should devise ways to build on their success, keeping their long-term goals in mind when pursuing better time management. Mental awareness can help with this. Individuals should try to be mindful of when they’re falling into unproductive patterns and should identify specific triggers or distractions that lead to procrastination. Meditation and exercise might also help some people clear their heads and help them build confidence and focus when studying.
Students may look for advice from teachers, coaches, mentors or peers on better time management strategies. Individuals can also work with other classmates who are on top of their assignments and willing to provide reminders or encouragement.
Avoid Common Time Wasters
Common threats to good time management habits are external distractions. Students should seek to eliminate or at least lessen these common distractions. Some common time wasters include:
- Social media and Internet use
- Phone conversations
- Running errands
- Extracurricular activities
Time management is key to academic success and organizing and planning one’s day and tasks using mental exercises, seeking help and avoiding time wasters are some helpful time management strategies for college students.