Effective Time Management for College Students

How Effective Time Management Can Help College Students to Succeed

The transition from high school to college is one of the most difficult challenges students face. High school is generally easy and manageable compared to college. Assignments and activities are structured, tasks are done on schedule and workloads are lighter. Teachers and parents are also actively involved with your school activities helping you manage your time. Your schedule is full yet you seem to have time for everything. Now being in college is different. Although you enjoy a great deal of freedom and flexibility, you struggle juggling your studies, social activities and other commitments. You are confronted with too much work but not enough time to do them. Your parents and teachers are not around anymore to assist you. You are in now in charge of your time and only to effectively balance your time will allow you to manage your hectic schedule.

What is Time Management?

Time Management requires identifying your obligations, carefully considering their importance, and making choices about how to use your time to your advantage. It is not just how to keep track of how you spend your time but also about spending your most valuable resource in the way you choose. The center of Time Management is an important shift of your focus – Concentrate on the results and not just on being busy. Work smarter and take control of your workload.

Advantages of Time Management

• reduces stress and anxiety
• increases productivity
• gain time
• motivates and initiates
• reduces avoidance
• eliminates cramming

Effective Time Management Techniques
Here are some techniques of Time Management that students can apply:
1) Set specific academic and personal goals. Be aware of your goals and know what to prioritize. You should know what is most important to you and what you need to accomplish in order to determine how you should spend your time.

2) Prioritize your tasks. Make a list of what to do and rate the levels of priority to identify how important that task is. Finishing high priority tasks first takes away the pressure. If an unplanned task comes up, put this on your list and rate it also according to priority.

The priority can be based on (would demand higher priority):
• Target date or deadline the task is to be completed
• Length of time a task will take to finish (will take longer time to complete)
• If a task is a pre-requisite of another task (some tasks cannot be started until this one is completed)

3) Create and maintain a realistic and flexible schedule that suits you. Use a calendar to write down your activities, like class periods, events, breaks, etc. Identify tasks you need to accomplish first and how much time you will allocate to these. Schedule fixed commitments such as classes and appointments first. Break large tasks into smaller ones to fit in your schedule.

4) Practice allotted study patterns. Don’t schedule marathon study sessions. Several short ten or fifteen minute sessions are better that one long session. This allows the brain to process the information and prevents you from getting exhausted and waste time.

5) Allow time for relaxation. Relaxation is just as important as your school work. Your schedule should be a balance of academic, social, and relaxation. Scheduling recreational activities provides you time to recharge and something to work towards after exhaustive school work.

6) Maximize Time. Some little things consume precious time like commuting, waiting in line or walking to class. Be productive and use these would be wasted times to finish other tasks. Bring reading assignments, or check your planner to monitor your activities.

Time Management will not magically transform you to be super efficient or a well organized person. Effective Time Management is a skill and will take practice and focus to develop. If applied to improve the way you organize your time, you will be more productive and your pressures will be lesser. Now you can make your college experience more manageable and enjoyable.

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