Time Management Skills are very essential for College or University Students. There are 86,400 seconds in one day (24 hours); every single individual on earth has 24 hours, nobody has more time or lesser time than the other. What you choose to do with the day is totally dependent on you; the decisions you make will determine how profitable the day will become.
For students, time management is the most relevant element which leads to academic excellence and ensures maximum productivity in academic pursuits. But many students are plagued with challenges of how to manage and make judicious use of their time effectively.
Making that transition from high school to college can be outrightly scary, frightening and terrifying for some people.
Apart from the initial shock at how different college life is, the academic load can appear to be daunting as there seem to be so much to do and too little time to do it in. You might start to wonder if the hours in the day have somehow become less than 24.
The freshman year can be particularly severe. You become faced with new challenges and struggle to find a balance. When you think you have got the hang of it, the final year becomes a different ball game altogether.
As humans, we are bound to feel stressed when we are not in control of things. With so much to do and so little time, it becomes easy to get overwhelmed!
Have you ever been in a situation where you become so stressed about not completing a task that you spend even the little time you have worrying, and this becomes counterproductive.
I remember one time when one of my subjects was due; for some reason, I had not bothered to start earlier, and by the time it was less than 24hours to submission time, I was in full panic mode. I paced, I fretted, I ate, and I called everyone that cared about me to inform them of my predicament.
By the time I was done with the hunt for sympathy, the entire day had been wasted! I did manage to put in some work for three hours after I eventually calmed myself down. I can’t say that it was the best course, but looking back and knowing the things that I know now, I definitely could have handled the situation better! We all need time management skills.
If you are anything like I was back then, you should know that the time spent worrying never actually get anything done. It is simply time wasted that can never be regained.
Regardless of what year or what college you attend, if you have ever found yourself wondering how to get it together, wishing for more organization, searching for how to manage your time, and do well academically while maintaining a perfect balance, then you should keep reading. Everyone definitely needs to sharpen their time management skills.
WHY TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT FOR STUDENTS
Why are time management skills essential for students? The freedom as well as the academic and non-academic range of activities at college is a lot. It is essential to know that whoever fails to plan simply plans to fail. Hence the need to develop good time management skills.
Do you want to go through college like a pro? Acing your courses while still finding time to learn a skill or pursue a hobby? If yes, then you cannot overlook the essential skill that you need to manage all other skills! That is the ability to manage time.
While some people can do this effortlessly, others can’t and will need to learn it. Regardless of how the knowledge is acquired, time management in students both as groups or individuals must be encouraged, and like most things, the more you do it, the better you become. We all need time management skills.
Here are five (5) reasons why time management skills are essential for students
1. You get to do more in less time.
Proper time management skills allow you to accomplish more within a shorter period and the reason is quite simple.
Once you have dedicated a particular time to accomplish a specific task, you become more focused, as it would seem like a personal challenge to you. Who would not love to outdo themselves? I know that I certainly would.
2. Proper time management for students allows you to free up time to catch your breath.
This might be the most crucial point. There never seems to be time just to relax, or as college students like to say, there never seems to be time to just ‘chill.’ This is as a result of the unending stream of activity that forms a significant part of college life.
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jane, a dull girl.
Repeating the same brain tasking activities which could be studying, attending classes, working on a paper amongst other things is bound to wear even the most hardened person out. Poor time management will have you stuck in this routine in perpetuity and the result is that you might end up sick or with a nervous breakdown or totally uninterested in studies altogether.
This is why you must and with all seriousness plan your time effectively to create buffers or periods where you are simply not doing anything or required to do anything.
In essence, this is the time for you to chill, unwind, catch your breath, do something fun and generally, reset so as to come back stronger and even ten times more focused.
3. You can accomplish more with less effort.
If it used to take you so much effort to accomplish a single task, with proper time management skills you can get more done with less effort. You have less pressure, you can think properly and you know how to maximize resources at your disposal all because you have managed your time well. This is why it is of utmost importance that we all learn time management skills.
Time management in students can also be taught as a freshman course to set the right foundation for seamless college life.
4. More time gives you the opportunity to think decisions through.
Have you ever been in a situation where you were so pressed to give several feedbacks at a particular time? Maybe it is the last day of registration and as a result of managing your time poorly, you have no choice but to quickly select your courses without thinking them through.
Well, this can be a thing of the past because time management helps you to allocate a specific time for every activity. This means that weeks or days before such a big decision was due, you would have had the opportunity to go over the options and think things through so as not to rush into any impromptu decision.
5. It allows you to have a healthy cycle or sequence.
Time management skills are important because it allows you to have a healthy cycle. You get to know when things are to be done and you understand why it is important to do things at their allocated time.
Consistently doing things at the right time makes it your habit. This impacts and transcends into everything that you do, thereby making your life generally better. We all need time management skills.
The purpose of going to college
While different people have different reasons for going to college, for most of them, the reason is to get new ideas, experience new things, open themselves up to new opportunities, position themselves for better career opportunities, learn new skills, or simply just to major in something they are interested in. If you must go to college then you need to have Time Management Skills.
Before we go into the tips for proper time management skills for students, I would like to introduce you to the do’s and don’t’s of time management for university and college students.
THE DO’S AND DON’T’S OF TIME MANAGEMENT (Effective time management skills)
1. Use technology to your advantage.
It is the 21st century and technology is at its peak. There is literally an app for everything you can think of now, so why not make technology work for you?
Take advantage of websites and applications that help you plan your time.
Whether you are working on a paper, on a project or even towards an event, you can use an app to create a timeline or to keep you on track, some applications will also help you track your milestones and will send you some reminders on when a project needs to be worked on.
Another great way to ensure that technology is helping you save time is by creating a visual timeline with images for your project.
You might start to wonder, why is this important, why do you have to associate images with time? Well, studies have shown that your brain, my brain, and the human brain in general, processes images faster than it processes texts. So what are you waiting for? Attach some relevant images to your timeline and watch how active and focused you become on accomplishing those tasks.
Depending on what device you use, there are an assortment of applications to help you get organized.
You can also simply create your daily to-do list on your mobile phone and use your calendar to set reminders.
Another way of making technology to help you manage time is by using it for research, as your phone or laptop is like a walking knowledge box.
There is rarely any topic that cannot be found on the internet. Why spend hours searching for the right book when you can simply use a search engine and very quickly uncover loads of resources on the topic of your choice?
Want to manage your time better? Use technology.
2. Take action
Of what point is understanding time management for college students if you are going to continue doing what you have been doing before?
Apply the knowledge that you have learned, download that time management app, or get that notepad or that board and start planning your time better, not tomorrow, not next week. Start today, start now, start by taking action and watch how you become a pro in no time.
3. Create priorities
One of the things that you should definitely do is to create priorities.
To prioritize simply means having to place value on tasks and choosing according to their level of importance and when to do them.
Students can prioritize by putting together a list of everything they wish to do per time or daily in no particular order, then cross-examine the list of tasks made to identify what to work on according to their level of importance. It will help improve in time management instead of time-wasting on less critical tasks.
You need to understand that not everything is worth your time and not every activity will benefit you. You need to think about what you want to achieve in the long run and focus on the activities that bring you closer to your goal.
There is no easier way to say this- Prioritize! Prioritize!! Prioritize!!!
4. Forgive yourself
You should absolutely forgive yourself for the time wasted in the past. This will surely not bring the time back, but it frees your mind and allows you to focus on the present.
When time is gone, it is gone forever and the best way or remedy for the loss is by making better decisions, forgive yourself and do better.
Start by evaluating how you spend your time, the things you spend it on and how you can manage your time better.
This evaluation allows you to see clearly the things that you are invested in and it helps you to focus on what is important.
6. Get an early start
It is often said that the early bird gets the worm but this is actually backed up with facts!
A Harvard biologist named Christoph Randler, discovered that those who woke up early or who are early risers are more likely to anticipate the problems of the day earlier and to handle it or minimize them and this leads to more success especially in the world of business.
Do you want to be a pro at time management? Here are some things that you should avoid.
1. Don’t Procrastinate
Get started! Get on it!! Get started now!!!
Nothing good ever comes out of procrastination because it is a barrier against everything you have ever dreamed of achieving in life. Procrastination is a killer of destiny; it makes you go through time without any accomplishment.
Ever wondered why some people make most out of their time and become productive, and others do not? Well, successful individuals chose to make judicious use of their time to do what they have planned out; they also took actions towards accomplishing tasks, and not by procrastinating and making unnecessary excuses.
The hardest part of anything is the beginning. Starting is hard but once you get in motion, best believe there will be no stopping you.
Now that you know this, why procrastinate? Be the extraordinary force that happens to you, give yourself a push, and continue to be in motion.
2. Don’t insist on doing little of everything
Normalize the habit of specializing, although it is good to know how to do different things
3. Avoid Multitasking as much as possible
At the risk of contradicting everything you have probably been taught, I would strongly advice that you do not multitask.
Having too many tasks at hand as a student will affect your level of productivity and academic performance. It is best if you stick to a task at a time and ensure you see to its completion before taking on a new one.
Multitasking is a thief that slowly robs you of the ability to focus on a particular task and to get it done. Multitasking is like opening several tabs, naming them, and never fully working on any. In the end, you will find yourself exhausted with nothing to show for it.
To improve time management in your academic pursuit, its best to avoid multitasking on too many things, it can lead to too much stress which can lead to breakdown physically.
It is way better to start one task and see it to its definite conclusion, even if that is the only thing you achieve for the day or time frame.
4. Don’t Feed distractions
Understand what your biggest distraction is and avoid it. If you pay attention to every single distraction, you will never manage your time properly or stay in the schedule that you created to keep yourself on track.
5. Don’t be busy doing nothing
The goal is to be productive not constantly busy. Once you have reached your limit, get some rest, switch to some other activities , and maybe come back later.
6. Don’t be too stiff
Learn when to compromise, when to adjust your schedule, when to be flexible and when to break some of your own rules. Time management is meant to guide you and to optimize your productivity, not to rule over you or make your life into a stiff arrangement of schedules and instructions.
Now that you understand the do’s and don’t’s of general time management, here are some ways you can implement time management as a college student.
Having gone through college with no solid guide, I’ve decided to pen down some of the things I wish I knew while I struggled through college.
HOW TO MANAGE TIME AS A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY STUDENT (Time management skills)
- Decide to do it and write down your goals
I’m super excited that you have deemed it worth it to manage your time as a college student.
The first step is the decision to do it and the second step I would recommend would be to write down your goals.
Actually writing things down as opposed to just memorizing them in our heads make us more committed.
2. Developing a positive habit
When there is a positive attitude towards anything, the desire to have positive results become high because having a positive mindset in all you do gives you an edge over negative thinkers.
As a student, developing a positive mindset sets you aside to accomplish all related educational tasks. It doesn’t only work while in school, but it also comes in handy after school and throughout a lifetime. It does not matter how daunting a task might be; a positive mindset to overcome will always lead to success.
3. Having a focus
As a student, the focus is significant because it is the key to learning, problem-solving, and accomplishment of any given task irrespective of how hard or easy it may look. All your attention and energy becomes channelled in that direction when you focus on your education.
As a way of improving time management, focus helps a student to achieve more clarity which will go a long way in assisting them to become solution-oriented.
4. Staying away from distractions
Distractions come in different forms to derail us from accomplishing set goals. It is easy to get distracted as a student because you are in school with different people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
Students should spend more time with the people that love studying and stay far away from anyone or anything that will distract them from their top priority.
5. Check your health and keep fit
It will be impossible to manage your time as a college student if you fall sick constantly or have some unchecked medical condition.
Do take some time and check your health. It would also be cost-effective to go to the campus clinic as opposed to a hospital.
Remember to not just check your physical health, also check your mental health to be sure you are up for it. Talk to someone, an adviser, a friend, or even the counselor to get things off your chest and to boost your confidence.
6. Cut back on trips home
It is not very time effective to start dashing home every time you miss your parents or family members. Now that you are here, now that you are in college, try to cut back on trips back home so as to focus on your studies and get used to life at college.
7. Get a planner and set deadlines
Earlier, we did talk about getting an e-planner or a hard copy, well now is the time. Get a planner to help you manage your time. You can also find a friend who is just as committed as you are to maximizing time and you can let this friend remind you or keep you accountable.
8. Go to class and take notes
A lot of college students make the mistake of skipping class to go study and they feel justified because the time was spent on something ‘good.’ Well, studies have shown that we remember things better when we are in the moment.
Take all your classes if possible, it will make studying later feel like a walk in the park and you can easily remember something the professor or lecturer said.
9. Have a checklist is best to measure your progress!
Make your checklist schedule for daily routine. As soon as you have completed one task, check the box against it. It will help you to measure your daily progress. What did you do well? Where were you lacking? How can you improve? A checklist will help you to answer all these questions.
Time management as a college student is nothing without self-discipline. Let’s face it, this is college. There is no one to babysit you, you are an adult of your own, the freedom and decisions to do certain things are now at your discretion and you can either maximize that or abuse it.
It starts with you, decide to discipline yourself so as to reap the fruits.
11. Read the bulletin and course guide
You will manage your overall stay at college better if you read the bulletin and course guides. This is because they often tell you how many courses or credit loads you need or how many hours you need to put in. It would be time well spent to carefully read the bulletin so as to avoid certain mistakes that will cost you time and resources later.
12. Learn extra skills
College is not just the place to get a degree and leave. According to an interview of successful graduates from college on Forbes, the ones that excelled the most are those who learned skills other than the lessons in class.
Some of the skills you learn at college during extracurricular activities might come in very handy to make you stand out.
It is, therefore, time well spent to learn some skills like coding, playing a musical instrument, stitching, web development, typing and general computer literacy, as more often than not, these are the sort of skills that employers are looking for but do not have time to teach new staff.
13. Cut down on partying
Did you really think that a write up on time management for college students would be complete without advice on cutting down partying? No way.
Those parties are a time drainer, they suck up your time when you least expect it. Cutting down on parties will definitely help improve your time management.
14. Study smart
Know what to study and what areas to study, not everything is relevant. Studying smart will help improve your time Management Skills.
15. Take breaks between your studies
You will manage your time better in the long run if you take breaks.
It is crucial to complete your tasks with optimized quality. WHY? Because our brain functions better this way. If you are trying to keep doing the same thing for longer hours, it will decrease the quality of work and increase boredom. So, be sure to take 15-20 minutes of break every 2 to 3 hours. It will help to refresh your body’s CPU. Try it and do share your feedback.
Breaks will help you relax and reset and will leave you feeling fresh and ready to try again.
16. Get enough sleep
You will find many people suggesting you sacrifice your sleep if you want to become great in life! No! We don’t recommend this; you should get enough sleep of six to eight hours to achieve better mental ability. If you are not getting enough sleep, it won’t only affect your mental functioning; it will also affect your health. Please get enough sleep.
One of the coolest ways a student can improve in time management is by setting up deadlines, it eliminates procrastination and encourages timely delivery which will, in turn, increase the level of productivity. Deadlines also help students to become more focused on their academic pursuits.
17. Cut down on social media
For me, my cell phone is my biggest distraction and social media has me hooked.
Just like I also learned to partition my time and reduce time being on social media, you also will have to understand by yourself that social media can be a huge distraction that must be reduced.
Remove excessive notifications from your mobile device especially when it is time for classes, study, or some important activity. It is hard to develop time management skills without cutting down on social media.
18. Learn when you are most productive
Understanding when you are most productive is a great time management skill to have. Are you a morning person? Then study or do other important things in the morning and rest later. Study yourself and know when you are most productive and maximize that time and schedule your studying time.
Effective daily time management skills do not only improve you academically, but it also equips you with the proper abilities to get things done swiftly and to have complete control of everything you do. Do practice some of the tips and remember that time is an important value and effective time management skills are a necessity.
I surely hope that these tips will help you go through college like a pro.
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