useful time management tips and strategies for college students to increase productivity

11 Smart and Easy Time Management Tips for College Students

A lot of college and university students struggle with time management. In fact, seems like  the only degree we end of getting these days is a masters in procrastination

While I was in school, I struggled with meeting deadlines, constantly  studying last minute, and overall just getting things done in a timely fashion. Like almost everyone I always ended up getting my work done, but it was always a race against time. Sometimes while trying to finish up that project or assignment, I am also devising a back up plan to get a doctor’s note as an excuse just in case I don’t finish. Speaking about wasting more time..

Even though I completed the course work, sometimes my grades suffered and then I start regretting why I didn’t work on my research paper early, or waited a day before to study for that test when I needed to

Not until I started working full time at the same time building my blog and trying to get this adulting right, I started to value my time a little more

I will say I am better at managing my time, but I still struggle sometimes, in fact a lot.

I don’t believe there’s an expert and I don’t think you should aim to be an expert. However, everyday we should try to use our time towards achieving our goals no matter how small

“The secret to your success is found in your daily routine

Time management Definition

What is time management and why is it important

Time management is the act of organizing and controlling the use of time to perform specific activities. Having good time management skills is important because it allows for increased productivity, reduces stress levels and brings you closer to achieving set goals

Why is time management important for college students

A good time management practice empowers students with the ability to prioritize tasks, study smarter, and complete course work ahead of set deadlines.

In situations where extra help or resources are needed, students are also able to better plan to make out time to seek out that extra support and guidance that they need. Overall, a good time management practice can help students reduce overwhelm, lead to a happier lifestyle and improved grades in school

Here are 11 time management tips for college students;

Use your syllabus

Course syllabus are very underrated. In my opinion, they are one of the most valuable course materials handed to students but also often the most overlooked. Course syllabus are handed or made available to students within the first couple of weeks of school resumption. They outline all the topics and deadlines that will be within that semester or session.

Rather than slip the syllabus back into your binder,read through your syllabus, make notes of all your deadlines and weighted percentage for each course work.

Start to prioritize each course work and plan for those that may pose a little bit of a challenge. Create a success plan on how you will tackle each course and what actions you will take to accomplish your plan

Plan ahead

Nothing beats planning ahead. Knowing that you have an exam to write, it is better to start planning early. That way, you can properly and without pressure access what you have to cover and map out a plan to achieve it. If you need to write notes or borrow notes of photocopy someone’s text. By planning early, you will have time for it without having to go into panic mode when you don’t find someone because they are probably busy using their text to study for the exam. Last minute preparation can frustrate you and make you lose confidence in the exam you are about to write.


Using a calendar

The idea of using a calendar is to time block. Time blocking is the art of planning and scheduling out your entire day into different time blocks. Each time block is accounted for and dedicated to accomplishing a specific task.

When time blocking you want to schedule in priorities e.g class schedule, exam/test dates deadlines. This way you see what time slots you have available to accomplishing other important tasks and you can plan a study schedule around that 


Control your attention

What we lack is not so much time, sometimes we lack the ability to focus on the task at hand. I have found myself in situations where I have more than 8 hours at my disposal to work on a particular task but instead, I binge watch all my favourite youtubers for 5 hours. It has become very difficult to focus on my work for the last 3 hours because I have drained myself with so much unnecessary information that my eyes  hurt. 

If you find yourself in a similar loop, always remind yourself that the pleasure you will get from this present moment you are about to be sucked into, will be nothing compared to the satisfaction and freedom you will have if you just pushed yourself a little harder and worked on your goals

Kick out Distractions

Distractions play heavily into why we find ourselves procrastinating. We don’t get important work done and when we do, we are constantly finding time to do tasks that are not necessary.

And it really isn’t your fault,you’re just being human. Human beings wired to do things that are pleasurable. And reading for an exam is definitely not one of them. But, if don’t learn how to kick out the distraction then you won’t go as far. If you cannot do it on your own, there are great apps that can help with it.

They can get pretty hard-core. Once you set your goal

 on the app, you just may not be able to do anything else with your computer till you complete it.

1) Forest: I like this productivity app. It is kind of like a game as well. You set your timer to what you want and it starts watering virtual plants for you. The moment you pick your phone, the plants begin to die because you are getting distracted. I really hate to see my plants die so I try not to pick my phone for the set time. I believe for every plant that you let grow, you can choose if you want them to actually plant the tree in different countries. Don’t quote me on that, I really just use it for the timer and not the extras.

2) Freedom and cold turkey: These two apps block all your social media sites and search engines. I think cold turkey is an extreme version of it. Kinda just turns your computer into dummy mode. If you need that tough love and rude awakening then this is definitely for you.

Be Intentional 

This is very important if you want to be productive. I learned this concept from listening to a podcast from Ezra Klein at Vox. The idea behind intentionality is that productivity isn’t about doing a lot but doing the right things with intention. A lot of times we spend time being busy instead of productive. 

If there’s no intention behind our work then there is no meaning to It because we are on autopilot mode just trying to get things done without actually properly getting things done. It’s okay if you need to space out some work for a few days. Let the few you do have meaning and be done properly.

Get a planner

A planner is a great tool for setting your to-do list straight. Prioritize what you need to do in your plan. Divide the tasks so it is easy to follow through with them and set deadlines for completion. Working on deadlines is a great way to put yourself in check. That way you are not too relaxed thinking you have all the time in the world

Track your habits

Tracking your habits are a simple way to keep you in check. By consistently tracking your habits you are able to watch your progress and it motivates you to continue. Habit trackers are very popular amongst people who love to bullet journal but crossing off each progress on a simple calendar will do.If you are into the aesthetics and fancy habit tracker designs, check out these study trackers  and you just might obsessed

Quit Perfection

Trying to make sure your work is “perfect” might be the reason you don’t get anything done on time 

It’s better to be done than perfect. This is not to say that you need mediocre work but don’t get fixated on the idea that your work has to be perfect. When you set your standards to be perfection, each time you aren’t close to it, you will get frustrated and burn out. 

The reality is perfection is subjective, your so-called perfect might not be what the professor is looking for

Every mistake is a learning opportunity and you will get better each time

First things First

This essentially means set your priorities right. Always start with the most important tasks or deadlines. One way people avoid what they need to do is by doing what they don’t need to do. Don’t try to exhaust yourself from unnecessary tasks. When the time comes to complete the important tasks, it could then be a lot of stress and pressure to meet the deadline

Productive time of day

Plan your work at the time you are best productive.If you are more productive in the mornings, then dedicate the first part of your day to working at that time. You will find it easier to focus

Just Do It

Nike couldn’t have said it any better. Sometimes all you need to do is get up, start the damn thing and get deeply lost in what you are doing

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