When you’re a college student, being able to manage your time can mean the difference between success and failure. These tips, many of which seem to fly in the face of logic, can help you reduce your stress and manage your time effectively so the important things get done every day.
Take Charge of Your Schedule
One of my favorite professors once said “If you don’t take charge of your schedule, then your schedule is in charge of you.”
We’ve all had times when our days seemed to be governed by one crisis after another, but that should be the exception rather than the norm.
Before you go to bed each night, take a look at the next day’s schedule. Set aside time for the important things, the things that matter most to you. Sure, unexpected events may crop up, and when they do, you’ll deal with them — but once you’ve put out the fire, you can get right back on track to the schedule you’ve set.
Figure out how much time it takes you to accomplish a certain task, like reading 10 pages out of a textbook or writing a five-page paper. Keep these findings in mind when you are deciding what to do with your day.
Most people, for instance, can’t dash off a 10-page term paper in half an hour or read a complex, technical document in 15 minutes. If you don’t allot enough time for each of your daily activities, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Multitasking used to be considered the great time management skill. That was before researchers discovered people who were high on marijuana actually performed better on an assignment than people who were trying to switch back and forth between three different tasks.
It’s probably okay to walk and chew gum, but other than that, focus your attention on just one thing, do it and move on to something else.
Take Regular Breaks
Brick-and-mortar universities have breaks built into their schedules when the bell rings, and students have 15 or 20 minutes to get to the next class. Programs that offer online college degrees don’t have such clear break periods. If you’re taking several online classes, it’s possible to work for hours without stopping. It’s also a bad idea.
The brain, like a muscle, gets tired if you demand too much of it. Tired brains are responsible for foolish mistakes as well as errors in judgment. For every hour of studying, set aside 10 to 15 minutes to do something completely different. Put in a load of laundry, wash the breakfast dishes, take the dog for a walk or treat yourself to a few minutes of your favorite magazine.
With a little practice, you can develop time management skills that will help you get through any type of class setting.
CJ contributed this guest post. Passionate about self-improvement, he frequently blogs about time management and how it can factor into online college degrees.