Time management for college students is an imperative. Classes, study time, student activities, work-study, and home life can pull students apart, especially if they do not have a plan. It is the scheduled and disciplined student who will not only succeed but have the best and most rounded college experience.
Get And Use A Planner
Keep a planner or calendar with you always to write everything down- notes for class, schedules, invitations, thoughts, ideas, etc. A planner will have a section to schedule your time, keeping commitments in place, while allowing you space for notes too. There is also the option for an electronic planner in the form of a smart phone or PDA.
Writing things down will keep you ready for mid-term, finals, or just the perfect storm moments (a week of two tests and two papers due). Soon as you get your syllabus, write when key test are and papers due. Schedule everything around those moments, meaning that you should slice papers into equal components toward completion. Topic decided by week one, bibliography developed week two, reading and notes taken weeks three-five, outline week six, etc. Scheduling mid-terms and finals by giving study time two focuses; one, preparing for the next class (able to participate and contribute), and two, drilling the facts for tests. After these are done, you can add back in student activities, work, and fun to the schedule.
Check to see if you are on target each week. If you find yourself falling behind, some non-academic activities will have to be cut. Also, the review will have the benefit of letting you know what is ahead of you too.
Do To-Do Lists
You may not be able to schedule everything, everyday. Keeping a to-do list will let you know what you want to accomplish should you find free time or what is to be accomplished when have an hour scheduled that says “Library Time.”
Print And Post The Calendars
Yes, you keep a planner. But posting a monthly calendar everywhere will keep everything you need in mind. Place one in the bathroom, another on the refrigerator, and if you have a problem with too much TV, tape one to the bottom of the TV. These calendars will help keep you on track. They also have the side benefit of letting others (friends and family) know when not to bother you.
Get Your Fun In
No problem with you watching your favorite TV shows, going out with friends, or enjoying ballgames. Just be sure it is scheduled, otherwise it will take all your time before you know it. You can also use it as a motivator (see reward yourself). Friends want to go out on Saturday night? Know Saturday morning you are going to the library to get a paper’s outline done, and then you are studying while doing laundry in the afternoon. Then you can enjoy the evening, guilt free, knowing that you deserve it, as you are ready for the next week.
One of the sweetest rewards is to be done when everyone else is hurting. Knowing your papers are done, you are more than prepared for finals, and everything is turned in, is a wonderful feeling. Find a way to reward yourself. Of course, you can reward yourself for smaller accomplishments through out the semester. Keep yourself motivated.