Do you ever catch yourself saying “I don’t have time” and wish you had more of it to do the things you love? You are not alone. The majority of students in college feel that time is the number one factor that takes control of their lives. Constantly chasing deadlines, coming up with creative ways to submit a last minute assignment before 12 am, wishing you had the power to slow down time before your next exam… the battle with time becomes inevitable and can eventually transition into an unhealthy lifestyle. Lucky for you, we have come up with 3 keys that will guide you to becoming the ultimate time management pro.
1. Keep Up With an Agenda
Are you somebody that buys a planner at the beginning of the semester, fills it out the first few weeks, and then forgets it ever existed? Great, let’s open that planner back up and start managing our time! Write out all your important deadlines/exam dates and plan out your days accordingly. This will help you to stop missing assignments and most importantly, cut out unhealthy last minute cramming.
Sometimes we trick ourselves into believing we don’t have time, when in reality we just don’t know how much time we really have. Having a place to write out your responsibilities and commitments will allow you to visualize the time you have and will bring you the mental clarity you deserve. You’ll also be able to make use of all the time you usually waste on simply complaining about time… Clearly knowing what commitments you have going on will also help you in planning a proper workout schedule, organizing time for extracurricular activities, etc.
2. Make Use of Your Time Gaps
Many students believe that time gaps in between classes can be kind of awkward—you can erase this awkwardness off your schedule by putting those time gaps to use. Efficiently making use of even 15 minutes can make a difference in your academic success. You can listen to an audiobook, meet up with your classmates before class to review, watch motivational videos on your phone, etc. And if your time gaps are 45 min+, you could take advantage of that time on campus and schedule in study breaks. Any productive behavior you can pencil into these time gaps will be much more beneficial than trying to kill time scrolling through your phone. Every minute counts when you are in a battle with time.
3. Make Time for Healthy Distractions
Drowning in school work is never a great feeling, especially when it causes us to become overwhelmed. Stress and overwhelm are huge distractions when trying to perform our best and actually cause us to waste more time than usual. That is why it’s so important to have healthy distractions. Taking those 5 minutes off will save you much more time than those 5 minutes you spend mindlessly re-reading the same questions trying to process information.
Instead of struggling to perform on low energy caused by stress, take a few minutes off from what you are doing and do something fun. Whether it’s taking a walk, dancing, talking to a friend, etc., it’s so important to give your mind a break. Taking this pause will allow you to regain your energy and will increase your focus when you clock back in.
Time management takes some practice but it will greatly benefit you in the long run. By learning time management skills in college, you will be ahead of the game once you are out in the real world! Challenge yourself and start incorporating these time management habits into your daily life.