College and University are a time for life experience and fun, as well as a time for development and growth. This is the time students are supposed to figure out what in life is important to them and what they can let go of. But most often, students worry about the homework and passing classes as well as balancing their social and work lives at the same exact time. Some people think that university is a trying time, where it weeds out those who aren’t prepared or ready for real life just yet. There are several things that lead to such overwhelming feelings and enormous amounts of stress, but there is just one defining skill that can separate one from the rest of the pack. This skill, time management, is a life-long skill that can continue to be used throughout life, and is especially important to a student.
Benefits of Time Management
The overarching benefit of time management skills is that you will have extra time to spend however you want. Time is valuable and it’s essential to live a life that makes you happy doing the things you want. Your priorities become the things you value the most – and it can really help you get through important events and times in life in an efficient manner.
Knowing that you have some spare time for yourself, your mental health will benefit, as you’ll have to stress less about deadlines and reports and important meetings and such. Which means you’ll have time for your hobbies and your loved ones. Remember that you only have 24 hours a day to spend, and spending them wisely is an important skill to have.
Best Ways to Master Time Management
- Create a to-do-list
Visualizing the tasks and homework and whatever you need to do will give you a better idea of where you are in terms of progress. Usually, you’ll start to cross things off your list as you do them, and you can move on to the next one, and most students find this satisfying. A to-do-list also can organize your tasks into what is a priority for you or not, and then organize it in terms of urgency. This acts as a plan for your day, your week, and even your year, if you know that far ahead.
The to-do-list shows you everything you need to do, but it’s a whole nother conversation to have about how you should organize it. As a student, priorities usually lean towards homework assignments and studying for tests and exams. These weigh heavily against your social opportunities and work commitments, as school becomes more of a priority. Once you’ve settled your priorities, it’s a bit easier to think about what you’d want to do instead of what you need to do.
- Get rid of Time-Wasters and Distractions
Distractions are a normal part of a student’s life, and getting past them is a huge challenge. One way to go about this problem is to firstly identify those things that are time-wasters. What do you spend a lot of time doing? Is that useful for your tasks and goals? Reconsider the time you spend on these time-wasters. Secondly, is to stay focused on the task at hand. Are you easily distracted by your phone? By youtube? Or you cat? Consider taking time away from them to stay focused on your work and gett things done. Turn it into a positive reward for completing a task – so you’ll also motivate yourself to complete them.
- Take it easy – one at a time
It can be too overwhelming to tackle all your tasks at one, and it’s also not advisable. Of course all college students think they can multitask effectively, but the honest truth is multitasking isn’t efficient as people think it is. Instead, focus on one small thing at a time and handle that first, and then move on to your next task. Finish one math problem and then move on to the next. Organize your room, then clean the dishes. Taking it a step at a time takes practice to get it right, but it does make your homework assignments a bit more bearable.
- Take breaks often
Another pitfall of hard-working students is that they don’t take enough breaks. They study and work throughout the night with small breaks to have a snack, but they end up harming themselves rather than helping themselves. Its said that the efficiency of remembering things tapers off the longer your brain is tired. So take a break, take a nap, and recharge your batteries so that your brain can remember all the information while you study.
- Establish A Routine
Having a routine is crucial for being an effective time manager. Your routine cuts out all the time you spend thinking about what to do because you’ve already got it planned in your head. This turns into extra time for you to do things that are more of a priority. Getting into good habits also can push your studying efficiency, and you’ll have an internal clock that adjusts to your needs.
- Ask for help
A common misconception with students and time management is that it depends on you and you alone. That isn’t true at all, you have friends, family, and peers that can help you navigate through your priorities. If you’re not able to wash the dishes or take out the trash, it’s perfectly normal to ask a roommate to do it. You need to study for an exam but have too many things to cover – ask a classmate to help you study and create a study guide together. Sometimes your professors can give you extensions on your assignments due to some circumstances you can’t avoid. The point is that you have help, you just have to ask for it.
- Use your resources
If you’re having trouble organizing your life, you can use other resources to help you. There are productivity apps on your phone that can easily help you sort out your priorities or set a schedule. There are websites that can help you manage your homework assignments and offer help. Students have access to counselors to help them plan their future and figure out the next logical step academically. Resources are important to time management skills.
If you’re feeling a little bogged down by life, remember these time management skills and start to change the way you live.