Time is something that most college students never seem to have enough of. Since extra time can be hard to come by, it is important to know how to manage and make the most of the time you do have. In order to help better manage your time, here are our top 5 time management tips!

1. Schedule

Staying on top of a schedule is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a college student. Here are a few things you can do to stay on top of your schedule:

  1. Get a Planner: Perhaps one of the best tools that you can purchase to help you keep track of your time is a planner. Planners are a great place to write down important dates, keep track of deadlines, and plan out daily to-do lists. Not every planner is the same, so it’s important to do your research and purchase the planner that you think is best for you. To help you find the perfect planner for you, College Life Made Easy put together a list of the Top 5 Must-Have Planners for College Students in 2021.
  2. Plan Ahead: Now that you have purchased a planner, planning ahead should be a lot easier. Take time to work through your planner, filling in all important dates, deadlines, meetings, class times, etc. Use your planner to create a rough schedule for yourself for the week, scheduling out study time and free time ahead of time.
  3. Write Everything Down: Write Everything Down. Even if you have a great memory, it is crucial that you write everything down in your planner. Even if it doesn’t seem important, write it down. Writing everything down will help you avoid forgetting important details or deadlines.

2. Stick to a Routine

College is unpredictable, which can make it hard to follow the same exact routine everyday. However, it’s still a smart idea to create a routine and try to stick to it as much as possible. A daily routine can be as simple as trying to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day.

3. Stay Organized

This seems like a no-brainer, but staying organized can actually be harder than some might think! Staying organized will make it easier for you to keep track of your notes, study guides, assignments, documents, etc. Here are a few things you can do to keep yourself organized in college:

  1. Note-taking: Everyone takes notes differently. Figuring out the best way to take notes for yourself during class and lectures will help you stay organized in the long-run.If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to note-taking, UNC Chapel Hill has put together a great guide for effective note-taking.
  2. Paper Storage: It is highly likely that you’re going to accumulate a lot of different pieces of paper during your semester. Keeping separate binders or folders for each class will make it easier to store and organize all of your important papers.
  3. Workspace: Having a workspace that is organized to fit your needs will help you in the long run when it comes to staying on top of your time. For more information on how to keep an organized workspace, check out this blog post to learn how to transform your home into a work study area.

4. Stay Focused

In order to stay on top of your time and schedule, it is essential that you stay focused and avoid distractions (especially when studying). It’s normal to have a hard time focusing when working on homework or studying. When it comes time to start studying, there are several things you can do to help yourself stay focused and on task.

  1. Put Down Your Phone: Even though phones can be great tools, they can also be a big distraction. We’ve all picked up our phone to check on something and then find ourselves scrolling endlessly way longer than we anticipated. To avoid wasting time on your phone while trying to focus on work, try putting your phone away in your backpack or on the other side of your room. This will lessen the desire to pick it up as frequently.
  2. Use a Pomodoro Timer: What is a pomodoro timer, you ask? The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity system that is simple to use and very effective. Set a timer for 25 minutes, work until it runs out, take a 5-minute break, and then repeat the process three more times. After that, take a 15 to 30 minute break. Here is a list of the best 6 Pomodoro timer apps to help you find which one works best for you.
  3. Listen to Music:  Music has a profound effect on our mood, heart rate, and even blood pressure. Studies have also shown that having background music on while studying increases the brain’s ability to remain focused. According to Dr. Masha Godkin of NorthCentral University, “Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory.” Try out a few stations to find the genre that suits you best. 

For even more helpful tips on how to stay focused while studying, check out this blog post to help you figure out the best study location for you.

5. Reward Yourself

College doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Even though staying on top of your studies is important, it is just as crucial to incorporate free time into your schedule as well. Setting aside time for yourself to do things like hang out with friends or watch tv can help improve your overall mental health and help to avoid burnout in the future. 

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