One skill most college students wish they knew before they came into college life is time management. College might seem all fun at first, but the extra time and flexibility in your week comes at the cost of a massive amount of homework and other responsibilities. Juggling your schoolwork with the rest of your life is a difficult balancing act and most often fail without the proper skill needed to manage your own schedule. Here are some tips you’ll need to ensure you learn time management as quickly as possible.
1. Create A Schedule (PLEASE)
I can’t stress this enough, but learning to make a schedule (and calendar) helps tremendously with managing your time well. In college, you don’t have someone constantly making sure you do your homework on time, so it’s crucial to make sure that all homework (and trust me you WILL have homework) is done on time. A schedule helps with this by leaving everything in one clean, accessible area, making it easy to check what has and hasn’t been done yet. Even if it’s just a simple list of things to do for the day or through the use of an online planner, having an action plan for each day makes classes much less stressful.
2. Set realistic goals for each day (to avoid procrastination)
One system I have in place that helps me stay focused throughout the day is a goal that I plan on completing by the end of the day. It could be a homework assignment or just studying for a certain test, but having a goal each day helps with keeping yourself focused and ensures that something gets done every day. However, when setting goals, I make sure to make it as specific as possible to not discourage myself from completing my task. For example, instead of making it a goal to study for my tests, maybe I set a goal to study for a specific chapter in the textbook for the day, or complete some example problems for a specific learning target. This way, I have a clear path to success and don’t procrastinate when completing my goal.
3. Find a balance between work and breaks
The first 6 weeks of any college’s freshmen year are usually lighter (both in homework and course content) to help the freshmen adjust to college life and find their balance in the cycle. However, once those 6 weeks are up, college courses speed up, and they don’t really care if you fall behind. The introduction period is meant to help you explore campus and find out what you want to do during your stay at college, so I suggest you take that opportunity to explore your college’s clubs and activities. Just be ready to hit the ground running after those 6 weeks.
4. Start as early as possible (that means now!)
Habits (both good and bad) are often hard to break once you get started. The first step is often the hardest step to take, but practicing these skills now will help immensely when taking the transition into college.
The final tip I have for you is to start practicing good time management ASAP. Habits die hard, and learning the skills to create and follow a schedule will come in super handy during your transition to college. Don’t underestimate the work that comes with your first set of college classes, because sitting on your homework is a surefire one-way ticket to insomnia and all-nighters…