As a busy college student, you are no stranger to the feeling of wishing you had a few more daylight hours. From class, to homework, to extracurriculars and family, your days fill up quickly, leaving you stressed for time. By adding a few time management techniques to your schooling repertoire, you can help increase your effectiveness, efficiency and productivity as a college student. Take a look at these time saving tips!
1. Plan ahead.
First and foremost, when managing your time, it’s critical to look ahead. Use a physical or digital planner to make note of all upcoming assignments and life events. It’s important to make note of both school and personal items, so you have a clearer picture of what weeks will be busier or slower. If you know you have two major assignments due the Monday following a weekend getaway, it would be smart to plan ahead with the completion of those projects before your trip.
It can sometimes feel overwhelming or daunting to look at a full to-do list of uncompleted items. The best way to make your list seem more manageable is to prioritize the projects listed. Make note of deadlines and due dates for all assignments to identify which ones need attention first and which ones can wait. In this step, it’s also important to understand the time commitment for each task or how long it will take to complete. By prioritizing, you are able to eliminate unnecessary stress and focus solely on immediate upcoming tasks.
3. Avoid distractions.
Whether it’s your phone, your roommate, or a new Netflix series, it can be easy to quickly get distracted and off task. According to a study by the American Psychological Association (APA), 70% of college students label themselves as procrastinators and approximately 80%–95% engage in procrastination to some degree. To avoid dilly-dallying, identify your top distractions and when you have designated school time, remove those distractions. For example, if you tend to look at social media every few minutes, place your phone in another room to help increase your productivity.
4. Stay organized.
One way to save time when it comes to studying is by keeping your class notes organized from the start. When you don’t have this structure, you tend to waste more time by locating and sometimes even rewriting notes before exams. We challenge you to determine your preferred note taking style, whether it’s typed or handwritten, and put those practices into effect for each class. In addition, you should store each class’s documents in separate folders or notebooks to help with further organization.
5. Embrace time blocking.
Last but not least, you can utilize Google calendar to fully embrace the power of time blocking. According to BetterUp, time blocking is a planning method that divides your day into smaller blocks of time. By using this technique, you can improve productivity by as much as 80%. For example, you can study for your upcoming art history exam between 12 – 2 p.m. and meet for your group project from 4 – 6 p.m. By setting up your calendar in these blocks, you can avoid multitasking and focus only on a single task. Remember, it’s also a good idea to add designated blocks for breaks as well.
We hope you have seen the potential time management can have on your school experience. For additional resources or to set up an appointment, please visit the Student Learning Center (SLC), RMCAD’s free tutoring and academic success center.