Time Management Tips for Academic Achievement
Using wise time management activities is the key to having a great college experience. Many college students begin their first semester with enthusiasm but quickly find themselves overwhelmed and falling behind.
Learning how to manage your time will help you achieve higher grades and reduce stress!
Why is Time Management Important?
In life, there are things you want to do and things you have to do. Whether you are playing sports, joining a club, or working while you're in college, you'll need to know where your time is going in order to keep up.
People who learn how to succeed in college carry these skills into successful careers later.
These time management tips for college students will help you keep your sanity, sleep, and enjoy a healthy social life along the way.
Know your work rhythms and make them work for you
Are you a morning person or do you tend to stay up late burning the midnight oil? Identify your pockets of productivity and use them to your advantage. Try to register for classes and plan study periods during your most productive hours.
Buy or print a planner
In order to stay organized, you’ll need some good tools. A planner is a must. Pick up a nice planner from an office supply store or create and print your schedule with a free online schedule maker.
Come to class prepared
Don’t go overboard, but there are a few office supplies that will make staying organized much easier. These include:
- Pencils & pens
- Pencil sharpener
- 3-ring hole punch
- 3-ring binder stocked with paper
- Dividers with tabs
With your dividers, create a separate tab for each class to keep the syllabus and other important handouts easy and quick to reference. The hole punch serves two purposes:
- Making handouts fit nicely in your 3-ring binder
Making a new friend when the guy next to you sees how prepared you are and borrows your awesome tool.
Map out the semester
A class syllabus can look like a foreign language the first time you read it. Take your time, reread it, and email your professor to ask for clarification on anything that you don’t understand.
Write each assignment due date from the syllabus into your planner. It’s important that you can look at all your major due dates for the semester at a glance. This will help you manage your time well and set reminders to keep you on track.
Beat procrastination by taking small steps
Break big assignments into smaller tasks and set mini-deadlines well in advance. Often, project due dates are very close to midterms and finals; spreading the work out will free up time for studying later.
Make technology do the remembering
Smartphones and tablets will be your best tools for time management in college. Set reminders on your device to remind you about approaching deadlines. Give yourself time to get the project done by setting reminders for 2-3 days in advance.
Schedule your study time
Use the breaks between classes and other free time to schedule homework and study time. Write these into your calendar before you make any other commitments.
Tracking your study time will make partner projects and planning study groups easier.
Identify time wasters and remove them while working. When you manage your time well, there is a time for everything. You don’t have to deprive yourself. Use your procrastination traps as rewards to enjoy after you complete an assignment.
The Internet and social media are common distractions for college students. Turn your computer and cell phone notifications off during study periods. Closing unnecessary tabs on your computer will help you focus.
For more tips on developing your study habits, check out this article.
Become a proactive communicator
Professors are busy and usually prefer to be contacted through email. Arrange study groups through texting or online class messaging to save time. Appropriate communication is a key skill for time management and developing professionalism.
Get to Know the Academic Support Center
There are resources on campus to help you. Talking to one of the advisors or counselors in the Academic Support Center can help you find solutions. Take advantage of their help when you're feeling discouraged or overwhelmed.
Chin Up … There’s a Light at the End of the Tunnel!
Balancing the responsibilities and opportunities of academia isn't always easy, but you can learn how to be successful in college as you build strong time management activities and habits.