Recent high school graduates desiring to be successful in college must be more conscientious about how they manage time than they did during high school. College students typically spend more than 15 hours weekly in class, and they’re expected to study 2 hours per classroom hour. As a result, the typical student spends up to 50 hours per week sitting through lectures and studying. In addition to school work, most students work part-time, participate in extra-curricular activities, and socialize with friends. It’s no wonder that many students struggle with time management!
Although being in college can be overwhelming, it’s possible to complete everything that must be done in a timely and efficient manner. Developing time management and organizational skills is the key to working efficiently. The best way to better manage time is to develop daily schedules. Most organized people plan daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
Unorganized people who must complete several tasks within small time frames often fail to complete all of them on time. As a result, students should develop detailed schedules to complete all assignments on time and limit stress associated with last minute cramming.
Effectively manage your time by planning daily and long-term tasks. For example, if you have a quiz on Thursday, set time aside on Wednesday to study. If you have a research paper due in 2 months, avoid compiling a sloppy paper days before the due date by scheduling time each week to conduct research.
Utilize these tips to conduct effective long-term planning during a semester:
- Plan enough time for study.
- Study at the same time every day.
- Make use of your free time during the school day.
- Plan study sessions to follow class.
- Space your study sessions.
- Set aside time for weekly reviews.
- Leave some unscheduled time to ensure flexibility.
- Schedule time for recreation and other activities.
College students are expected to spend two hours studying and completing assignments for every class hour. However, students with excellent grades typically spend more time studying. Gifted students often earn high grades with less preparation, but most students must spend two hours preparing for every hour of class to earn good grades.
Students are encouraged to develop daily study habits. In other words, they should try to study at the same time each day, so it becomes part of their daily routine. Students who begin the semester studying 5 days weekly typically do not break their routines.
Study during class breaks. Many students neglect to take advantage of these valuable hours. Utilize this time to complete assigned readings to arrive prepared for class and ready to ask questions.
If you can’t study before classes, plan to study immediately following them. Be sure to plan what you’ll be studying to remain on task and complete the most important assignments first.
Schedule 50-90 minute study sessions per class. Once you’re done, take a 10-15 minute break. Resume studying once your break concludes. Short breaks are beneficial, especially if you plan on studying hours at a time.
Set aside an hour per week to review weekly progress. Students often benefit by doing this during the weekend since they’re less stressed.
It’s essential to develop flexible schedules since it’s impossible to predict unexpected emergencies and distractions. Students often set themselves up for failure by cramming too much into their schedules.
Begin planning by filling time slots with set activities, such as extracurricular, church, work, social, lab, and other activities. Once this is done, fill available time slots with other tasks. Be flexible by creating interchangeable time slots. For example, if you set aside 2 hours to study chemistry and another 2 hour block to socialize with friends, be sure that these blocks can be switched in case a conflict arises.
Regardless of how well you plan, you’ll be frequently required to deviate from it. This is the advantage of interchangeable blocks since you can’t predict what will happen, but you can compensate for it and still complete every planned task.