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How do I improve my time management skills for college?

Time management is a crucial skill for students. Having good time management can mean the difference between failing and passing assignments. What are some techniques to improve this necessary skill?
college time-management


Saad, This is major and is something to master even beyond college. At the start of each semester I would take all of my syllabi and place major assignments on my calendar. This was any papers, projects, tests, and quizzes. This allowed me to see all of what was to be worked on for the semester. Then I looked at my daily and weekly schedule. I penciled I study time. I learned quickly that I did not do well with studying in large groups and studying at night. I set up to study, read, and write when I learned best-during the daytime. For example, if I had a class from 8-920am and a break until my next class at 1pm, then I would study during 10-1130am. This habit developed over time and I saw a huge change in my grades. Always remember to manage your time and do not let time manage you! Kevin Simpson

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SANDRA’s Answer

Hi Saad, time management is a challenge for sure. What has helped me stay on track is a routine that includes blocking time to work/study and time to do the relaxing things (such as exercise, talk to a friend for a bit) in between so I don't feel burned out. Key thing is to add to your calendar what needs to be done - from the smallest to largest items, if you plan the time to get it done, you are more likely to get it done. Items that are not on our calendars tend to not get done.

A lot of times the work we need to do is not necessarily a subject we are passionate about so to keep motivated I do schedule breaks to do things that speak more to my core values and passions. For example, in the middle of my work week sometimes I find volunteering events where my work can help others in need, I get to meet people and network with like-minded folks, get different perspectives. A quick run to the gym also helps clear my mind and keep my body and mind in motion - my work is a lot of sitting and looking at the computer.

In summary - the change of activities throughout the day/week helps me stay focused on my work by giving me new perspectives. Not every week is as flexible, some are easier than others to stick to the schedule but what I aim for is stay on a schedule as much as possible.



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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>

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Maria Cristina’s Answer

Hi Saad, you have to be very organized. Prepare a schedule so you know when you have to do each thing and keep it looked so you don´t miss anything. If it works better for you keep and agenda but remember to look ahead. If you work well with deadlines there is a page to track the time on an activity https://toggl.com/ you can use it to give time like I will spend 2 hours on this and check when you go out of plan to remediate.

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Mat’s Answer

College will afford a lot more free time than high school. My recommendation would be to create a work time where you are just going to work. Lock-up you phone and any other distractions while you are working. Sometimes it is helpful to do the easy thing first, versus the thing you are dreading. This gets you started into work mode. Once you tackle something and start into work mode (get in the zone) it is easier to jump into that more difficult time consuming task. It will be hard but try and not leave things to the last minute. Get into a routine. Go to class and take notes (remove distractions). If you have a big project do a little bit at a time. Studies have found that working 24 hours straight or pulling allnighters have diminishing returns, so it is important to set a routine and a cut-off for yourself. If you have a big test or paper, set a timeline for yourself and try to keep it. For example, I am going to study everyday for the next week for two hours from 5 - 7 pm and stick to this schedule.

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