Top 10 Time Management Tips for College Students

Posted on May 04, 2023

Posted on May 04, 2023

With a part- or full-time work week, family obligations, and other responsibilities, it can seem challenging to find the time to complete schoolwork. Time is a precious resource that should be maximized, especially for college students.

Whether you struggle with time management or you want to maximize your time, here are our top 10 time management tips for college students.

1. Keep a Calendar of Deadlines

Most courses, online or in-person, have deadlines for assignments that you have to follow to earn a high grade. It can be overwhelming, but not if you’re following the best practices for managing time for students.

Keeping a calendar gives you a visual of all your upcoming work, so you can schedule study time and time to complete assignments with clear priorities. Otherwise, you could end up with rapidly approaching deadlines and panic when you realize assignments are due without enough time to spend on them.

2. Set Goals

One of the most important steps in managing your time is knowing what you’re spending your time on. When you set goals, you can identify your wasted time and stay on an efficient track to completing everything.

There are many apps that you can download to track your time and see where your time could be better spent. For example, taking a quick look at your Facebook or TikTok feed may not seem like a lot, but it adds up over the course of the day. Once you know this, you can be more disciplined about your free time.

3. Use the Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro Method was developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. Using a timer, you break up your workload into 25-minute stretches of focused, uninterrupted work with five-minute breaks in between. You can take a longer break after four consecutive work intervals.

This method is effective because staring down a long to-do list of equally important tasks can quickly become overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to start, or you feel like you’ll be drowning as soon as you start, you won’t be as productive. Working in small chunks of time will help you stay motivated and combat your apprehension.

4. Use Checklists

Checklists are a helpful tool for how to improve time management skills as a college student. When you have a lot of work to complete, it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels without accomplishing anything. Having a checklist gives you a sense of accomplishment as you check items off your list.

5. Use Your Breaks Strategically

One of the most important tips on time management for students is using your break time strategically to get more accomplished in a day. While you should take some breaks to relax your mind and recharge, the breaks that you work into your schedule can be used as extra time to complete other quick items on your to-do list.

For example, use a 15-minute break to put a load of laundry in the washing machine or run a quick errand. When you use your breaks strategically like this, you’ll find that you get more things done over the course of the week and you’ll have more leisure time.

6. Leverage Technology Tools

With millions of apps at your fingertips, your smartphone or tablet can become more of a time waster than an asset. But with the right apps and self-discipline, you can use apps to manage your time effectively.

There are apps for scheduling, calendars, time management, and productivity with digital to-do lists, timers, and notifications. If you can’t stay off your social media apps, download an app to block these notifications and restrict access to social apps until you take your scheduled break.

Don’t stop at your smartphone, however. Your computer offers different account options, so make one for your personal use, one for work, and one for school. This keeps all your important apps and documents separated, so you only have access to what you need to complete your work – no more temptation to surf social media feeds while you’re working on assignments!

7. Limit Distractions

The best time management for college students comes from self-awareness. When you can clearly and objectively identify your habits and distractions, you’re better equipped to combat them.

For example, you may find that you procrastinate by getting involved in household work when you should be studying, or you may put on the television for “background noise” and start watching. In these cases, maintaining a quiet, separate study place or blocking out time for chores or watching television can make a big difference in limiting distractions and keeping you focused.

8. Reward Yourself

Nothing feels quite as good as accomplishing everything on your to-do list. As you start working toward better time management, take time to reward yourself for small wins. Always keep your rewards in line with your goals, such as taking an hour to read or watch television after you’ve completed your tasks for the day. This also gives you something to look forward to without the stress of thinking you should be doing work.

9. Stay Healthy

Keeping yourself healthy plays a role in time management and productivity. It may not seem obvious, but one of the time management tips for students is working regular exercise into your schedule. You should also plan to eat well and get a good night’s rest, both of which contribute to your energy levels and minimize stress. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

10. Ask for Help

When you’re overwhelmed, it can be tempting to go it alone. But you have resources to help. If you are struggling to understand a concept, reach out to your professor with questions or concerns. You’ll waste more time trying to figure it out on your own – under stress – than if you get the information you need from the start.

Remember, time management tips for students only go so far is you’re burned out and physically and emotionally drained. If you’re truly overwhelmed, reach out to your advisor to discuss your options. You may need a reduced credit load for a time or student support resources like tutoring. Your advisor is there to help you succeed.

Put These Tips to Use

How to manage time as a student can be a struggle, especially if you’re balancing other responsibilities. These tips can help you make the best use of your time to stay productive and focused, but don’t hesitate to ask for help. At Sophia Learning, we have a dedicated group of learning coaches that can help you with your time management. Start a free trial today!

Category: Student Success

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