Time Management for the College Student
Assignments, social functions, deadlines, bills…timing is everything when it comes to successfully juggling the responsibilities of being a college student. Have you ever wondered how some people are able to do it all? While it may seem impossible, mastering all of the things you need to do is relatively easy when you learn to effectively manage your time. Here’s a few tips to get you started:
What is the most important task on your to-do list? This may not be easy for everyone. At first, everything you need to do may seem pretty important. Break it down and think about which tasks have a deadline. Organize them in order of the ones with the closest deadline. Do any of them have a penalty if not completed on time? Work on completing those tasks first.
Remember – It is Manageable!
It can get overwhelming, but don’t despair! Remember to keep in mind, it is manageable and you can conquer it! Getting stressed will only create more anxiety which will not help you, but will rather prohibit you from completing all of the things you want to do.
Learn to Say No
So there you are working on an assignment that’s due tomorrow and in walks your classmate who’s begging you to help her with her biology homework. Do you agree to help or do you turn her down? If you’re the type that struggles to say, “No” learn to say it. There is just never enough hours in the day to do the things that you need to do and all of the things that others will ask you to do. Save unnecessary to-dos for times when you actually have the free time.
Pass the work around! You’ll hear this term a lot if you are working on a degree in Business Management. Delegating simply means to entrust someone else with the things that you need to get done. Obviously, you can’t delegate away your assignments or bills, but you can delegate work that is meant to be done by a group. For example, your instructor presents you and a group of your classmates with an assignment to research Roman Art History and present it in a 50 page PowerPoint presentation. By delegating specific tasks to each member for your group early on, you are alleviating the stress of worrying about the entire assignment at one.
Much easier said than done! In the book Your Brain at Work by David Rock, it is estimated to take 25 minutes to dive back into the original task once you have been distracted. That is quite a bit of time to waste! Limiting the amount of distractions you have may not be easy when you’re living in a dorm with a group of chattering girls in the hallway, but eliminating just one distraction per day can give you three extra hours in your week.
Take a Break
Ever had a moment where you’ve experienced a complete sensory overload? Was it easy to concentrate? Changes are, it wasn’t! Being stressed about upcoming tasks and responsibilities makes it hard to focus. Learn the techniques that help you to relax and clear your mind. Perhaps, even try taking some Yoga classes. Yoga helps to relieve stress and clear your mind. Understandably, this may seem like an additional task to your to-do list; however, taking the time to relax will help to keep your mind sharp and focused on the week ahead.