Updated: Mar 5, 2020
By Kirsten Patterson, Layout Editor
Many students begin college not knowing how to manage their time properly. This often leads to procrastination, unnecessary stress and lack of sleep to name just a few consequences. When I entered college, I already had some experience managing my time through being involved in many different activities in high school; however, my ability has grown significantly during my time in college.
This semester I am a full-time student, I have three part-time jobs and I am involved in two clubs. I also make time to exercise, hang out with friends and get around eight hours of sleep each night. It requires planning and self-discipline and the results are highly worth it. I would like to share some tips for those who struggle with managing time.
My first tip is to choose classes strategically when it comes time for advising and registering for classes. Having a good class schedule makes a huge difference when it comes to making time for jobs, homework, exercise, social life and sleep. Think about the time that makes most sense to wake up to get a full night of rest. Think about how any jobs or club meetings would fit along with classes. Consider taking an online class to free up some time and allow more schedule flexibility. I personally like to have my work hours and class hours all one right after the other. Having awkward time in between does nothing to help my productivity for the day.
My second tip is to set aside time for things you need to get done. This makes it significantly easier to be productive. I don’t have class or work until the afternoons on Tuesday and Thursday, so the morning serves as my time to work out and work on online classes and any homework. By using that time wisely, I end up with a lot of free time after class and work to do whatever I want. Also, by setting aside time for homework, it becomes more difficult to procrastinate.
My third tip is to have peace in saying the word “no.” I learned the hard way that saying “yes” to every request or opportunity causes unnecessary stress. After going through that for a while, I learned that I have to be more intentional with decisions. If something comes up that I want to do and have plenty of time for, I can confidently say “yes!” Any commitment that I may not have time for, I think through the potential consequences.
My last tip is to leave time to have fun. Sometimes this means scheduling free periods for certain times of the week. Free time is wonderful for personal hobbies, relaxing or hanging out with friends. Having no free time often leads to burnout while getting time to relax and get away from stress can actually improve productivity and focus. I love being in a social club because it is fun for me and I know that there are scheduled times where we all get together for meetings and events.
Hopefully these tips help with time management and show that it is possible with some careful planning. It is all about figuring out what works best for each person and each different situation. What works for one person may not work for someone else and that is completely okay. Just remember that careful planning and knowing personal limits makes a huge difference in the end.