As college students, you have multiple things that you are juggling all at once. Whether you are a student-athlete, in the marching band, a member of a campus group or organization, or just an involved student within your degree program; finding time to fit EVERYTHING in seems almost impossible most days. The purpose of this article is to help you find that balance and provide you with a few time management strategies that could alleviate some of the stress that comes from being so busy!
- Prioritize your time: Make a list of all your obligations and prioritize them how you see fit.
- Find an organization method: Write all of your obligations in a weekly or monthly calendar/planner so you can see where all of your time is being spent. Heck, you could go a step further and even color code the different commitments so you know how much time you’re spending per area. Include your school assignments.
- Reminders: If you have a smartphone or electronic calendar, make sure to set up reminders to go off either 30 minutes before or a day before, depending on your short and long term memory.
- Limit distractions: How often do you find yourself taking a break from studying to check out what’s going on in the social media world? Next thing you know, an hour or more has passed. Put a timer on your phone for 10-15 minutes and then start looking through your social media apps or shopping websites. When the alarm goes off, you know it is time to get back to work! Also, put your phone on airplane mode when doing school work so you don’t get distracted by emails, texts, social media notifications, etc.
- Just DON’T do it… naps: It can be very tempting to take a nap for an hour in between your two classes. Although this sounds good at the time, there is sometimes room for error. Maybe you forget to set an alarm, or set it for PM when it was supposed to be AM. If you skip the nap you can maximize your day time hours and get your work done. Ideally you should be able to get to bed at a decent hour in order to get a solid 8 hours of sleep at night.
- Online classes: It is easy to forget sometimes that you have to be reading or doing assignments for online classes since you aren’t physically going to a classroom to be taught the material. Make sure you schedule designated times and days to focus on those online classes so you don’t fall behind.
- Get in the habit: Imagine waking up to go to class and when you get there, nobody else is there. At that moment, you decide to check your email and Blackboard. Sure enough, your professor sent a last minute announcement saying class was cancelled. Doh!!! Checking your email and Blackboard at certain times throughout the day could help you avoid added stress like this.
These are just a few suggestions for managing your time and obligations as a busy college student. Good luck!
Elysa Newman, Director for Athletic Academic Achievement