A guide to time management
It is important for college students to get their degrees so they can have a better future. But ask yourself, is that the only important goal? I am currently a college second year, and before, all I focus on was achieving my goal of landing my dream career. Then the next important goal was getting my degree. But I, like most students, are living now, and if you’re like me, I’m not really thinking about earning my degree. Rather, I’m thinking about surviving and doing well in my classes.
There are many ways to succeed in College life, and it’s not all about academics. That’s where Time Management comes into play. What is time management? You could simply say it is managing your time wisely. I’d rather say it is a change in bettering your life, a way to say, “Screw you TINSTASFL? (if you took economics, you’d get the joke)” We always have to make decisions in our life. I look as managing your time as THE solution to have your cake and eat it too!
Here are some general practices for time management that really do work:
Purchase, and use a calendar, or planner.
Organization helps to keep things in order. Some people are visual learners and doers, and others are auditory. That doesn’t mean that owning a planner or calendar won’t help some people. Be creative. Put symbols to mark something, use colors and art, or even go wild. Anything to grab your attention for those important dates and times. NOTE: you can also use apps on smartphones, like calendars and stickies. That also works, especially if you rely on alarms and notifications.
Write everything down, even the little notes
Studies show that people who write things down are more likely to remember the subject, than those who don’t. Like a planner, writing things down on pieces of paper or sticky notes help us to keep track and be organized. Again you can be creative. Use different colored pens to write different messages and key notes down, for instance. Whatever you choose, writing everything down will also help you in other ways besides keeping track.
Ask questions, and double check
Relating to the previous suggestion, we may not catch everything at once (unless you have the super power to of speed, then cudous to you!). Asking questions not only proves you to be responsible, but it can help ensure that you have every piece of information, so that mistake prevention is possible. Sometimes, we may confuse information when planning our routines. Double Checking ensures less, or no, mistakes.
Print any schedules
This may contradict to the advice for having a planner. Not entirely. You can put your schedule in a planner, so you know what goes on in your daily routine. A planner is mostly to record a day to day basis of information. Schedules can be used to compare available times, so you can plan accordingly. Plus, it’s good to have it handy.
Schedule appropriate and doable times to relax.
Relaxing is key. We are not robots. We need breaks to function properly, otherwise we shut down or loose our minds. Take some time off. But not too much—this can lead to procrastination!
Allow for flexibility and pleasure
Relaxing is different from activities of pleasure and flexibility. Relaxing is doing nothing, or lying in bed watching Netflix. That is good, but sometimes, it’s also important to schedule healthy, productive activities. Not only is it good for your college record and resume, but also for personal health too. Plan to join a club, participate in campus events, or even outside campus events.
Things change, but planning ahead makes you better prepared, and more careful when reorganizing your schedule. Also, it’s a good practice to prevent stress, and make priorities concrete, so that you don’t feel guilty having to trade off, or sacrifice your precious time.
I put a star here, because not everyone needs to coordinate. Some of us work in teams, on staffs, or with other groups of people. Like planning ahead, it is important to get your priorities and time in order. Working around other schedules can help relieve stress and get things done. Also, it can prove to better your success by demonstrating your ability to prioritize and work with others.
Plan for the unexpected.
Need I say more? Nothing is worse than being thrown off by surprise. It will screw up everything, no matter how hard and excellent you managed your time. Brace yourself, have back up plans, and remain calm!
Schedule Rewards in after major events or exams
Keep yourself motivated. We don’t do things for free! Motivations will help you get through those hard times.
Keep trying new systems.
Not all of these things are for everyone. Try something new and that works for you. Experiment a little.
But most importantly, FIND AN ORGANIZATION METHOD WHERE YOU CAN FIND IT UNDERSTANABLE!!!
It is also important to have the desire to use time management to succeed. For college students, there will be times where we will want to throw in the towel. Just take a moment to pause, and remember why you’re here. Yes it is important to be balanced, have fun and work. But setting your priorities is key to any success in college.