This is a guest post by Carrie Oakley. If you'd like to guest post on this blog, click here.
They’re not known for their promptness or punctuality, and they’re perceived to be laid back and casual in everything they do. However, not every college student fits this stereotype – most of them want to manage their time better but don’t know how to do so with all the stuff that’s going on in their lives. Time management for students is very important, as is their organizational skills.
They have too much on their plate – lessons, classes, friends, relationships, social events both in real life and online, family, sports, entertainment, and fun times besides having to eat, sleep and look after personal hygiene and grooming. And with trying to balance all these and fit them into the limited time available, they tend to lose track of time. However, it’s not that hard to manage time effectively if you really set your mind to it – all it takes are these seven practical time management tips that work well for college students with lots to do and not enough time to do it. Time management for students should be a priority if they want to have a fulfilling time in their college years.
1. Wake up an hour earlier
Now this could be hard to implement if you’ve spent the night out partying or even hitting the books; however, it pays to wake up at least 30 minutes earlier than you do if you have many things planned for the day. When your schedule is full, create time for the things you need to do. If you’re not an early bird, then be a night owl – go to sleep late after you’ve finished all that needs to be done. This way, you stretch your day and have more time to get things done.
2. Set reminders
Technology is a wonderful thing; Use gadgets and applications to set reminders for important events so that you’re never late and never unprepared. When you receive information about an event, store it on your smart phone and set reminders to ring a day in advance (so you can ensure that you’re prepared) and an hour before the event is due (so you can get there on time). Once this becomes a habit, you’re never going to be late or find that you’re not prepared for any activity or event. This will also help you later in life, after you graduate, so that you will always be on time for important meetings.
3. Be Organized
One of the biggest time wasters is the task of searching for ordinary objects that we throw around casually. If you spend a good portion of your day searching for your keys or your glasses or any other object that you use routinely, you can save yourself immense trouble and a great deal of time by being organized and improving your organizational skills. A place for everything and everything in its place. This motto is a great way to place things where they belong so that you don’t waste time looking for them. When you’re organized, it’s like you’re conjuring time out of thin air.
4. Do a little every day
One of the best time management tips when it comes to preparing for tests and exams, is to do a little every day instead of putting off all your studying until the last minute. For one, it saves you a lot of stress, and for another, you avoid having to burn the midnight oil and ruin your health in the process on the eve of your exams. An hour or less is enough every day to go over what you’ve done in class and do a little revision.
5. Set priorities
There will be times when you’re overwhelmed with things to do and in a quandary as to how to do them all. The key to managing your time in this situation is to set priorities for each task and take care of them according to their order of importance. This way, you minimize your risks and maximize your time.
6. Don’t take on more than you can do
It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver rather than vice versa. This way, you not only exceed expectations, you also avoid the embarrassment of not being able to keep your commitments. When you bite off more than you can chew, you’re only setting yourself up for distress and stress. Too many projects requiring completion in too little time could end up in the compromise on quality. So know your limitations, work on your organizational skills, and work within them in order to manage your time better.
7. Know when you're wasting time
It’s much easier to waste time today than a few years ago, simply because there’s so much to do online. You find that you’re looking at your Facebook page or simply browsing the net when you logged on just to reply to an email from your professor. Your books await, but you’re lost in the online world; and by the time you return, it’s time to do the next task of the day. In order to make better use of your time, be aware of the times you’re wasting time. This helps you get back on track before you lose too much time.
Time management for students is developed slowly but steadily. If you follow these basic time management tips and improve your organizational skills, they become a habit over the rest of your life.
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This guest post was contributed by Carrie Oakley, who writes on the topic of online colleges.