Time Management Basics for College Students

New college students often struggle with time management. Students who’ve learned how to effectively manage time during high school are better prepared for the rigors of college study. Regardless of preparation, it takes time to adjust to college.

You must be self-motivated since class attendance is not mandatory. College is the first time most students live away from home, so you must limit distractions, get enough sleep, and study when you’re unmotivated. Bad grades during your first year of college can limit future career and schooling opportunities.

Improve time management skills by setting and not deviating from goals. If you frequently procrastinate, managing your time will be more difficult. Limit procrastination by realizing that delaying study will result in unnecessary stress and poor academic performance.

Stay focuses on your long-term goals. List long-term goals and develop a plan to obtain them. It’s difficult to get where you want without a plan.

Make sure to schedule everything. Use a day planner to keep track of assignment due dates, tests, group study sessions, and other important events. Plan ahead for scheduled tests and due dates months in advance.

Start planning for tomrrow at the end of today. Develop detailed plans for each day, including when you plan to wake up. Set aside time to attend class, eat, study, and relax.

Once you have plan in place stick with it. It’s impossible to plan for daily interruptions. Avoid being sidetracked by distractions that can morph into hours of wasted time. Stick to your plan as closely as possible. Don’t ignore emergencies, but refrain from wasting time on tasks that can be dealt with later. If your plan changes, be sure to reschedule planned tasks.

Start with the hard project and then move to the easier stuff. Complete difficult projects before moving on to easier ones. You’ll be less stressed and well-prepared for tests. If you are unsure of where to begin, save time by completing simple projects.

Break large projects down into several simpler projects. Breaking larger projects into chunks simplifies the scheduling process. In addition to saving time, there is a psychological component to this strategy. Students who see results improve confidence and usually do not waver from goals.

Develop a flexible schedule. Create flexible schedules. Schedule breaks and plan for interruptions. It’s important to schedule recreational breaks to reduce stress.

If your plan isn’t working out right today there’s always tomorrow. Time management skills are developed through trial and error. Most schedules never go as planned. Don’t give up if you have bad days. Consider each day as an opportunity to improve. Identify what you do well and experiment with new strategies.


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