Welcome to the Freshman’s Guide to College! We’re 9 days in, and this is the second-last post!
All of the other posts in this series are vital, but time management is what ties them all together!
The most important piece of guaranteeing success in college (as much as is possible), in my opinion, is learning how to manage your time wisely. Without good time management skills, you will never be able to just enjoy your college experience because trust me–stress will consume you! Time management was a hard lesson for me to learn, but this last semester I finally got on top of things and my stress level dropped when it came to making sure that all my work got done before exams came.
So here are my top tips and tricks to college student time management!
Learn to say no
You will never be able to manage your time if you are trying to cram in 30 hours worth of work and engagements into a 24-hour day. You really only have 14 hours a day of “awake” time, generally, so if you’re scheduling in more than that, you are never going to succeed.
So figure out what areas of your life could use some pruning. Are you involved in 6 different groups on campus, but really only enjoy 3 of them? Cut the other 3! Are you volunteering somewhere over an hour away? Find a closer location.
You also need to learn how to say no to yourself. The biggest issue with time management I’ve had to deal with is just goofing off on the internet. A great computer app that I use to combat my Netflix binge-watching issue is the Self-Control app. You can check it out here!
Prioritize your sleep schedule
You can’t get anything done if you’re falling asleep at the desk. No matter how well you’re scheduling your time and staying motivated, your brain needs sleep. I’d argue more sleep than you ever did in high school, since you’re doing double the workload!
Go to sleep at the same time every day, and set an alarm that goes off at the same time every morning. For me, I go to bed at 10:30 and wake up at 7:00 every day. Sundays I give myself a chance to sleep in until 9:00, but that’s how I do it! It keeps me awake and alert all day.
Write everything down
Absolutely everything. That Skype date you wanted with your sister. The games night with your church. It’s harder to lose track of time when you know exactly what you need to get done.
On the flip side, if you don’t write things down, it’s a lot easier to just forget that you had that potluck at your church that you promised to bring something to the night before your assignment was due. Get a great agenda, and use it!
Keep your goals in mind
Try not to see school as something to get through, or that you have to do. Look at the big picture. Look at the marks that you want to get for the year, or that masters program you really are passionate about. Look at keeping your scholarship or feeling proud of yourself. Look at how great you feel when you’ve gotten everything done! It helps you stay motivated!
Take time to relax
Beyond just getting enough sleep, you need to give yourself time to recuperate from all of the stress of the week. For me, I take a bath every Saturday morning with a good book and some bath salts. I also try to take half an hour before bed every night to just read or watch my favourite show.
When you allow your brain to get not only the physical but the psychological rest that it needs, you are a lot more productive the rest of the week.
Those are my tips for staying motivated and productive this semester! It’s never too early to get started on good habits when it came to school, that’s for sure!
What are some tips that you use to keep motivated to work?
Enjoy this post? Check out the rest of The Freshman’s Guide to College:
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 1: Back-to-School Shopping
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 2: Choosing your Course Schedule
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 3: Saving on Textbooks
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 4: Making Friends
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 5: Roommates
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 6: Exams
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 7: Packing for College
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 8: Staying Healthy in School
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 9: Time Management
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 10: Staying in Touch with Family and Friends