Being able to spend the limited time that you have efficiently for study, work and extra-curriculum is never a simple task for any uni student. However, if you are able to do it right, you will see that all of the aspects of your life – university, work and personal life are balanced. Not to mention that you can do all of your tasks with great results.
Therefore, no one can deny the fact that time management is one of the most important skills that undoubtedly can determine your success in life.
Before we find out the best ways you can do to manage your time effectively, let’s take a look at the importance of effective time management.
The Importance of Time Management
The management of time for a college student revolves around balancing school, work, home and social life. All of the activities that you do at these places are of high importance and you shouldn’t neglect any of them. When you can manage your time efficiently and effectively, you can finish all of your work on time while still having time to enjoy your college life. You will live your life to the fullest and wouldn’t miss out on anything important happen to your life.
In addition, a good time management skill will ensure that you can finish your job – both at work and at school with a high level of effectiveness and efficiency.
It is also worth mentioning that when you have good time management practices, you will feel less stressed, especially when you are super busy. One thing leads to another, when you feel more comfortable and relaxed, you can finish your assessment with your best capacity, getting a good grade and becoming successful at the university.
One of the most common practices of a person with poor time management is that he or she often cuts down on sleep when they are busy. When a person doesn’t sleep for at least 7 hours a day, he or she will lose focus and become less alert, which affects their daily activities. On the other hand, if a college student can manage his or her time well and find enough sleep, they will become more alert and have better concentration, which leads to much more effective jobs done.
Now if you know and understand the importance of time management, read our tips below for the best practices on time management.
Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively
1. Create A List
The first thing that you need to do when you want to have an effective time management practice is to list out what you need to do. You can do so in the early morning every day or at the weekend when you plan for the next week. You need to list out every single thing, from the task of finishing the assignments which are due next week to going to the supermarket.
When you list them out, you’d be able to identify what are the things that you cannot miss and what are small things you can do later. In the list, there would be certain important things that you have to do anyway such as working for some shifts and doing your assignments. Think about how much time you would need to fulfil those before moving to other tasks in your list.
Always ranks the tasks in the level of priority. The task with the upcoming deadlines or your fixed working shifts at the bar is the highest level of priority that you can’t miss or need to do first. On the other, other tasks such as going picnic with your friends at the weekend are of less importance which you can do when other more important tasks are finished. There are also some tasks which you don’t have to do but can delegate to other people – and you should do so, especially when you are busy.
Think about the time when you are the most productive – it could be in the early morning or late at night, you should know it better than anybody else. Then you should organise that time of the day to do your most important tasks.
2. Create A Life Schedule
In order to keep up with your schedule, you should use a kind of organising tool to keep track. They can be a pin-up planner, a timetable and an organisation app on your phone.
You can easily write down any upcoming assignments or appointments on these tools at any time when they come up so you don’t forget about anything.
Another reason that I myself like to use a daily runner to keep track of my life schedule is that these beautiful or creative tools can motivate me to write more, look at them more and become more organised over time.
3. Install A Time Management App on Your Phone
As I mention above, there are a lot of organisation tool to help you manage your time. And one of the most useful and convenient ways is using a time management app. I mean, you are with your phone all of the time, right? And no one seems to live without a smartphone nowadays.
Here are some apps you can check:
- Focus Booster: This app helps you to divide your big task into smaller, easier to manage parts. You can also control how much time you spend on a certain topic while you are studying.
- 30/30: This app acts like a timer to control how long you need to finish a specific task. When you can calculate the real time you need on doing something, you will have better plan and control for your schedule in the future.
- Remember The Milk: If you are a forgetful person just like me, you will find this app very helpful. It helps you organize your tasks and remind you of them frequently so you wouldn’t miss out on anything.
- Listastic: This is one of the best apps to help you list out what you need to do, what assignments you need to hand in and what you have to buy. You can even share your notes with other people.
One problem you might get when you use a time management app on your phone is that you would often look at your phone, browsing the Internet instead of focusing on the real job. In this case, you should set a strong determination to yourself and turn the phone down right after you use the app.
4. Set Time Wisely and Be Realistic
When you plan out all of the activities that you do for a week or a day, it is important that you think about how long you are going to spend on doing a certain activity.
For example, it is recommended that you spend at least 30 to 35 hours on attending the lectures, reading and studying. In addition, sleeping will take up about 55 to 72 hours that you have every week. If you have a part-time job, you might spend from 10 to 20 hours per week for it.
You should also be realistic of how much time you should spend on your daily activities. For example, if you aim for a good grade, you should not cut down on the time you spend on studying although you might think you are a smart and quick learner. In addition, although the number of hours you spend on sleeping might be quite a lot, you should not cut down on it either. If you don’t have enough sleep, you would not be able to feel alert and concentrated. You will also be physically exhausted as well, which will affect the productivity and quality of other activities that you take part in.
It is worth noting that when sometimes, things might take longer that you would expect. For example, the time you spend on taking a bath is not just about how long you are in the bathroom. You should also count the time you spend on collecting your clothes, drying your hair and taking care of your body afterwards.
When you are able to allocate the amount of time you spend on each task, you will not overspend time on one task and run short of time on another.
5. Avoid Procrastination and Distraction
Procrastination is one of the toughest challenges you need to overcome if you want to control your time effectively. In order to avoid this, you should set a strong determination to focus on your more important tasks. Also, think about what you would want to be in the next 5 and 10 years if you study hard instead of procrastinating around.
There are many ways that you can do to keep you more focused on your studying. It is worth noting that for some people, one method might be super effective, but it might not work well for other people. For example, you might find that studying with other friends might be productive for you. When you look at your friends focusing on their study, you would do the same. Nevertheless, I have seen some groups in the library that instead of studying, they spend most of their time chit-chatting. If you often see yourself this case, studying alone in the Silence study area of the library might be a better option for you to focus and avoid procrastination.
While you are studying, try to stay away from your phone as much as possible. I know some people who also turn off their Wi-fi so they can’t go online.
If you have to use the Internet for your research, you might consider logging off your social media pages to prevent yourself from checking them now and then.
6. Exercise Frequently
No matter how busy you are, always spend some time to exercise. Exercises can bring you as many benefits as sleeping can. It helps you to refresh your mind and make you more focused after exercising.
You don’t really need to spend hours in the gym by the way. All you need to do is some small exercise between your study sessions, or anytime when you feel tired. Just stand up, go out for some fresh air and run or walk for about 10 minutes. There are also a lot of stretching exercises you can try to make your body feel less tired and more comfortable.
7. Review Your Time Management
Finally, you should review and reassess your schedule and plan frequently to make sure they are the most effective ones you can have. Adjustments should always be in time to make the most out of the time you have. When the deadlines are coming, adjust more time for studying. However, when exams are finally over, you can adjust to have more time for your family and friends as well as time for yourself to sit back and relax.
Here are just some of the most common and essential time management tips for you to apply in order to make the most out of your student’s life.
There are still many more useful tips and ideas on how to manage time efficiently and effectively. My suggestion is that you should read some books on time management for more tips and motivation on focusing what are the most important things to you when you are in college. Some books you can read are Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen or the famous book of – Stephen Covey- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
I know that having good time management skills is very hard to acquire. However, with your strong determination as well as knowledge on proper techniques and tips about time management I provide here, you would be able to control your time effectively, achieving the best results you could possibly get with your studying and having a great social life while you are at university.
When you can control your time well in college, you will soon find out how useful and valuable this skill is for you once you go out and face the fast-moving working world.