As a college student, you might feel like you have so much to do and so little time to do it, whether its time to study for that big test, to meet up with friends, to join a club that you're passionate about, etc. While you obviously won't have enough time to do everything you'd like to, there is a way that you can make the most out of your day while involving yourself in a considerable scope of activities. The trick is three keywords: time management skills. But what are these skills and how do you obtain these techniques? Here are some tips:
One of the best ways to use your time wisely is to know what works best for you. For example, if you are a morning person, don't wait to study or get everything done late at night. Instead, go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up early enough to get everything done that you need to. Not only will this make you more productive, but your work quality will be higher. Also, know what study habits work for you. Learn how you study most efficiently and try to follow guidelines that will help you do your best. Perhaps you work better studying in groups or listening to relaxing music. It really doesn't matter how you study as long as it is helpful to you.
You will have a LOT of work to get done in college. There is no getting around that. However, if you make a list of priorities, it will be easier to finish what you need to complete on time. Finish the tasks that are due sooner first. Also, if you have a big project, make sure to start with a reasonable amount of time before the due date. Try working on it for a relatively short amount of time each day. This will help prevent the work from piling up. Sometimes, there will simply not be enough time to finish everything you need to do. When this happens, you might need to make sacrifices in work quality so that you are able to complete your work on time. Try your best to start your projects early enough that it doesn't come to this, but in the worst case scenario, just do your best. Don't let the pressure of the ticking clock get to you.
Know Your Schedule
Making a schedule can drastically improve time management skills. You can create a chart, use a personal planner, or do just about anything that helps you plan out your days and how best to fill them. Writing your activities down can help you better calculate what must be a part of that day and what can wait. By doing this, you can not only define your daily work goals, but this also leads to an increase in organization which can reduce stress levels. Additionally, it is helpful to write down what you need to accomplish simply so that you don't forget anything.
Create Personal Time
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. That's why it's important to create personal time for yourself. Having down time with friends, taking part in a fun activity, and other social endeavors should definitely be a part of any student's schedule. While it's important to make sure your first priority is your school work, having personal time to enjoy life with friends or by yourself can actually make your productivity increase as your brain receives a break. Just make sure to manage this time as well, and learn to say no if you have to.
When you get too busy, one of the first things to suffer is your health. Many students picture sleep as something that would be nice, but not a necessity. This could not be farther from the truth. Sleep is essential, and when your sleep schedule is messed up, so many other things fall out of place as well. Your stress levels rise, physical and mental performance is not as high, and motivation drops. To get your work done properly, you MUST make sleep a priority. Also, when stress levels increase, junk food intake increases and exercise decreases. Healthy foods and exercise are vital to staying ahead and keeping up with school work.
Time management is a skill that improves the more you use it. This is why it's important to begin right away. Although it may not seem natural at first, the more you practice, the better you will become at it and the more organized you will feel. Some days will be different than others which will cause shifts in your schedule. However, with the right skills, you can conquer any day. And remember, just because something works for someone else does not necessarily mean it will work for you. Learn what skills and environment you thrive in and go with that. If something doesn't work, change it. Just be patient, and know that time management skills are something any student can obtain as long as you take the time to learn what works for you.
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