The independence and freedom of college life can be liberating… and stressful! When transitioning from a 30 hour school week and constant parental reminders to a 15 hour school week and no one looking over your shoulder, you have plenty of opportunities to manage (or mismanage) your time. Time management is the process of planning the completion of tasks and assignments in a specific amount of time. Effective time management demands self-discipline, motivation, and the ability to prioritize. Here are four time management tips to ease your transition from dependence to freedom.
Create a routine that works for you
From classes and study time to weekend fun, it’s helpful to maintain a routine and stick with it throughout the semester. Classes and study time should form the foundation of your routine (after all, that’s why you’re at college!). Since you spend significantly less time sitting in a college classroom, you will likely need to spend more time studying outside of class. Choose the same time of day to study depending on when you focus best, either morning, afternoon, or evening. You can break up the monotony by changing your study location. Outside of the dorm room, you can study at the campus library, coffee shop, quad, or anywhere else you can concentrate and focus.
After you’ve set your class and study schedule, it’s important to carve out time for hobbies. Those art classes, guitar lessons, and rock-climbing adventures can not only be fun but relieve academic stress, too. Working out at the campus gym is another great stress reliever. Since exercise increases endorphins it can also ease loneliness and home sickness. Make hobbies and gym time a consistent part of your weekly routine.
An easy way to organize and track what needs to be done and when is to write down tasks, assignments, appointments, and commitments in a portable daily planner. If you prefer daily reminders, consider using a planner app on your phone. Keeping an up to date to-do list and prioritizing each task on the list is another effective strategy for staying organized. Breaking down bigger tasks into smaller ones can cut down on procrastination.
Procrastination is the avoidance of a task or assignment, and it rarely leads to success. It often results in mediocre performance and higher stress. That’s why it’s better to stay on top of assignments and study sessions by accomplishing a little each day. Creating a routine and staying organized can reduce procrastination.
Distractions can easily break up your routine if you let them, especially when living on your own for the first time. It can be tempting to blow off a study session when friends from down the hall stop by, or shorten your study time when a friend from home calls on the phone. Effective time management requires an unwavering self-discipline to study the same time everyday despite the constant interruptions and distractions around you. It’s essential to manage your time well for academic success.
For more tips on time management and study habits, give us a call.