We all have got the same 24 hours in a day, but there will never be enough time to get enough things done as a college student.
Time management can be difficult as a college student, especially if you are juggling classes, jobs, activities, extracurriculars, and your personal life. It’s hard to find time to sit down and study, let alone get enough sleep or prepare healthy meals.
Here are eight tips on “how to manage your time as a college student“, so that you can spend more time focusing on your studies, prevent burnout and be less stressed out.
How to Manage Your Time As a College Student (8 Effective tips)
1. Break down big tasks into smaller bits
Sometimes, tasks seem too big to accomplish in a single day. But don’t fret: Just break them down into smaller parts and do one thing at a time.
Not only will you get more done overall, but you’ll also find it easier to manage. The simple act of counting your tasks can make them feel less intimidating, too.
When you face a lot of work, it can seem overwhelming. To help break down large tasks into manageable chunks, try these three steps:
- Make a list of all your tasks
- For each task, break them into smaller bits or sub-tasks
- Prioritize based on what needs to be done first, second and third
This is a really effective time management strategy, do this and watch yourself accomplish more in a short period of time.
2. Use Pomodoro techniques
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by an Italian man named Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It uses a tomato-shaped timer to break down work into 25 minutes intervals separated by short breaks.
These intervals are called Pomodoros, which are typically used for writing, reading, or studying. For example, you can use your current study session as four Pomodoros (25 minutes each) with 5-minute breaks between each Pomodoro.
This technique increases awareness of distractions and trains focus — an average of two hours per day can be saved if 25 minutes are spent working and five minutes are spent on breaks every hour!
3. Create a routine
It’s easier to manage your time when you have a routine to follow. Figure out when you need to be at places, and figure out what needs to get done at those times. With time, you will get adapted to your created routine if you follow it closely.
Write down everything that needs to get done on a weekly basis, and then assign an hour or two each day (perhaps broken up by morning and evening) to get everything done.
4. Eliminate potential distractions
Establishing a routine helps you manage your day, but it’s also important to cut out those things that distract you from getting things done.
In most cases, these things aren’t harmful in and of themselves; however, they can cause you to lose valuable minutes or hours of productivity during your workday.
If you want to succeed as a student, eliminate potential distractions in your day-to-day schedule that may interfere with your workload.
And the number #1 distraction is your mobile phone. Turn DND (Do Not Disturb) mode on your mobile phone so you won’t get notifications from social media, else, you might get tempted to check Facebook or Twitter every minute.
5. Get well-needed rests
One of your big goals as a student is to perform well in class and get good grades. That means you need to stay sharp, which is difficult if you don’t get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause confusion, distraction, problems with judgment and decision-making—all things that hurt your ability to do well academically.
You’re certainly going to be up late into the night reading and writing papers, attending clubs meetings, and doing other extracurricular activities.
So, it’s crucial that you get enough sleep to help your body and mind stay sharp. You should aim for eight hours of sleep each night; as an added bonus, if you can get in a nap every day, all of your hard work will be even more effective.
6. Keep track of all due dates and deadlines
Make a calendar and keep track of all assignments, project deadlines, exams, and other tasks due dates in each class.
By keeping track of due dates, you can stay on top of coursework. Whether it’s through an app, a Google spreadsheet, or simply a calendar, setting reminders on when assignments are due helps you manage your workload.
Plan ahead and make sure you start assignments well in advance if possible.
7. Avoid procrastination
Time is a valuable commodity. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but not everyone manages it effectively. College students are especially prone to wasting their time; they’re eager to make new friends and experience new things.
Many have never had such a large amount of freedom before and feel like there’s no limit to what they can accomplish in a day (or week).
The only problem is that distractions pop up frequently, leaving little room for focused study or productive work. To manage your time better as a student, learn how to ignore distractions while also carving out enough space in your schedule to do what you need to do.
8. Exercise regularly
Exercise can help you to stay in shape and maintain energy throughout a busy day. It can also boost your confidence, helping you to focus on and handle everything that comes your way.
If possible, try to find time to exercise at least three times per week — though anything is better than nothing! You might even consider swapping out a class or another commitment once or twice per week in favor of getting some activity in.
The more active you are, generally speaking, the more energy you’ll have; what’s more, studies have shown that physical activity helps improve memory as well as overall cognitive function.
Wrapping it up
College is a very important period in most people’s lives, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one!
It’s easy to get distracted during your college years. It’s also easy to lose track of your goals and how much time you actually spend on schoolwork, so it can be hard to tell whether or not you’re being productive.
Take all the effective time management tips listed here into account, especially the Pomodoro techniques for a stress-free college experience.