17 Simple Time Management Strategies For College Students
Anyone who appreciates the essence of time understands its power. If we all realized the power of time, we would want to give it all it takes. We would use it judiciously like a coin that is spent and cannot be ever replaced.
Time is so important to everyone, from the elites to the least of students, from the famous entrepreneurs to the small-scale business owners.
You also need to manage this irreplaceable resource because 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 4 weeks a month and 365 days in a year are not just enough.
If it was enough, people would not have to work round-the-clock. Lecturers would not have lectures postponed till the next day and students would not bother going to the library the following day. Why? Because everything that needs to be done would have been concluded that same day.
What’s time management? Time management is the process of planning and exercising control of the time spent on specific activities. There are several ways by which college students can manage their time. Some of which are listed below:
But the truth is, that time will never be enough!
The only thing that differentiates a man who achieves his goals and the one that keeps moving in circles is Time Management.
It is the most valuable thing a man can spend. He who has nothing else has it. Join me as I show you important attitudes and routines you can imbibe to manage your time effectively.
1. Start Your Day with A Clear Focus
As a student, it is commendable that you have a plan for all activities of the day. Get a fresh mind and a motivated mind each new day.
Write up possible activities and the time duration for each. Try focusing on high-value activities. Neatly arrange the needed items for the day to save you a lot of time and energy when it most counts.
When you do, the search for notebooks, handouts and textbook becomes much easier and faster. Besides, there won’t be so much “unguarded” hours for frivolities and engagements in non-beneficial activities.
2. Reduce associations
There is no point having so many associations of people that drive you further away from your life goals and objectives. Those who complain of the brevity of time are most likely those who don’t make judicious use of it.
At all cost, avoid people who complain about not having enough time, people who don’t seem to respect your priorities and people who trivialize every good thing you can think of. if you don’t avoid such; the truth is, you will gradually find yourself believing in the same wrongful acts. Remember, birds of a feather flock together. Only fly with like-minded people.
3. Avoid unnecessary outings
Not all events are meant for you. Choose very important unavoidable ones that are purposeful. Learn to say “sorry, I may not be able to make it but I will send my gift across to you” or “I won’t be available because it is beyond my control”. Say NO! when you have to.
Sieve the important outings from unimportant ones. The fact is you will not be able to please everyone at a particular point but when you are done with your goals, you can make up for it later. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign until you are absolutely free to do anything else. “I’ll check my schedule and get back to you” can be magical.
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4. Fix your eyes on your goals
After setting your goals, remind yourself day in day out to keep you focused. Have a clear purpose in mind for forsaking one goal before starting another one.
When carrying out activities for the day, you must bear in mind that you are surrounded by friends and relatives who may unconsciously distract you from achieving some set goals.
This could result in the inability to reach a goal due to circumstances beyond your control. At that point, you should go back to the drawing board to re-strategize and generate an alternative that will replace the previous one.
Very often, students get distracted by their phones. Hence, there’s a need for self-discipline to avoid distractions from set goals and timelines. By timeline, I mean attaching a specified duration to specific, measurable, achievable, realistic tasks or goals.
5. Use a reminder app
There are several applications that have made life easier by absorbing your tasks and reminding you even a few hours before they are due.
Some do as much as speaking, showing pictures, beeping and others can be so dynamic. It is important to have a schedule where you record all your thoughts, deliberations and activities for the week. This will help you understand how much you can get things done during the course of the day.
It will also help to assess the results of your efforts. You’ll see how much time is spent productively and how much is wasted unproductively. Some applications have analytics that shows a trend and statistics of how much you manage your time.
6. Be time conscious
Keep practising time consciousness. In whatever you do, be conscious of your time. This will help to cut your excesses and keep you on the lane to your greatness. Take a good look at your watch wherever you are, like it is flying in the air.
Review and identify tasks that keep you stagnant or take longer than you expect and begin to eliminate such time-wasters. Give yourself a constraint for all you do and stick to it.
7. Good habits vs bad habits
For you to use your time efficiently, you need to take a gun to shoot the bad habits in your life. Only feed your good habits to grow healthy.
Now, that sounds like two human beings (Lol). You know yourself more than anyone does so take a deep sincere look at your life to know the irrelevant habits you indulge in.
You could be spending too much time watching T.V, going to a club too often, spending unnecessary hours in the market and so on.
8. Control social media times
Social media, the attention-seeker! As good as social media is, if you don’t control the number of hours you spend on them, you might find yourself in a big dilemma of time mismanagement.
What I did while I was in school was to put off my data connection until I am done with my reading. I still do that though. So, if I miss your message when you send them, I will definitely get it when I am done with my activities and attend to you.
You too shouldn’t accept distractions when you have it in your power to control them.
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9. Take breaks
It is not unusual to need a break from your activities but watch and control it! You will focus more and work more efficiently if you can set some level of constraints for your relaxation.
This will show you are the master of your time and you have chosen the way you want to spend it. If you spend more hours relaxing than working on your list of activities, then it is not a good idea.
The almighty “To-do-lists” is almost indispensable if you really want to be productive. It is more advisable to write the list in the morning before the rush of events for the day starts.
You could write the list in order of preference and check it as you accomplish each. If you were not able to actualize one, move it on to the next day and make sure you do it. Give yourself a strict rule – you must not move today’s activities to tomorrow more than twice and adhere strictly.
11. First things First
When I say ‘first’, I mean Monday mornings, first day at school, first day at work, first business day, first month. The truth is, all these firsts gives you a natural impetus to plan for the rest of the day, week, month or year.
You naturally have a lot to put into proper perspective before distractions come knocking. This also helps you to focus on your priorities and let go of insignificant things from the beginning of time.
If you get it right from the beginning, you will most likely stay on track for the rest of the day, week, month or year. So start your plan and run with it.
12. Stop Procrastinating
More often than not, college students fail academically, not because they never made plans or desired a better result, but because of their inability to do the right things at the right time.
Procrastination has always been a time “eater” and goal hinderer. Don’t yield to it. There’s no such thing as the “perfect” time. Get down to whatever task you have to do irrespective of the unpalatable circumstances. There are only seven days in a week. No such thing as someday or later.
13. Limit Multi-tasking
It might seem as though one is achieving a lot by multi-tasking, but statistics have shown that the required attention is not given to each task.
Consider a student preparing for two courses, an attempt to study both courses at the same time, may lead to poor performance in both exams. Trying to multitask a lot of things can also add to the list of things that make students fail.
14. Review Your Day
At the end of each day, go through your listed activities, examine how well you accomplished each task. Take note of major distractions and find a way to tackle them. You can go ahead to reward yourself if you succeeded with at least 80% of your activities.
15. Stay Healthy
A healthy lifestyle is encouraged for a student. A student who falls sick often frequently, would miss classes and probably, tests and examinations. This would also mean the time you’re meant to read personally would be spent on the sickbed.
Hence, it is better to take care of your general health so that you don’t spend that time treating sicknesses. I’ll encourage you to exercise daily and eat good foods especially those containing vitamins for energy metabolism.
16. Set Realistic Expectations
As humans, we all have expectations. We often hope for a brighter and better future which is quite commendable. It is good to think big, but the question is “are we ready to work big?”.
A student who desires a good grade must put in conscious effort to achieve it. For your expectations to become realistic, you must have a feasible plan.
Getting into a routine can reduce uncertainty about combining homework, study time, school lectures and work together. You should create the routine at the beginning of the semester so that there would be enough time to adjust into it.
17. Sleep well
People who don’t give their brains a good resting time end up becoming tired easily. Your brain needs rest too which is best optimized at night. Other health benefits are also attached to sleeping well.
Most hardworking students fail to understand the fact that nature cannot be cheated. Sleep is an essential part of a man’s life. Some students overwork themselves during the day and still end up going for night classes (reading or engaging in academic activities through the night). This act is not to be discouraged but to be managed appropriately. The brain needs a lot of sleep for effective performance.
If your night was so busy that you couldn’t get good sleep, you should schedule a time during the day to make up for it and avoid all distractions within this crucial time. Switch off your phone if you can, but please ensure you stay safe because such sleep can be deep.
I hope this helps you as I look forward to having you check back soon.
Till we meet again, keep adding value to yourself.
If you have successfully managed your time effectively via other approaches, feel free to share in the comment section.