In order to succeed in college, one of the first things you must master is time management. You’ll find that many exams, projects and general assignments are due around the same time. If you aren’t prepared for the workload, it will show in your grades. Here are tips to maximize the time you have.
1) Make milestones
Breakdown your workload into specific goals. If you have a project, write down all of the steps you need to complete in order to finish it. Write the date you plan to complete each step by. If you have an exam, divide the chapters or topics you need to study similarly.
2) Be present
When you set aside time to study, do just that. Turn your phone on silent or put it in another room. If you’re using a computer, log out of social networking sites and close all tabs unrelated to your work. Turn the television off. If you’re in a study group, stay on task. Dedicate your conversation to the topic at hand so you can move on.
3) Take 10
Take 10 minutes before you go to bed to plan the next day. Make a list of what you need to do and when. You’ll likely sleep better knowing that you have everything out on paper and you’ll wake up with a plan.
You don’t have to spend every waking hour studying to do well in college. Make time for friends and hobbies. Spend more time on those things when you’re able to and cut back when you have several deadlines to meet.
Many professors will hand you a syllabus the first day of class. Buy a planner and write major due dates in it. Use different colors for assignments, exams and other important items.
6) Find your fit
Some people find they study best first thing in the morning. Some enjoy studying in the library while others feel more focused at home. Find the times and places where you feel most focused and stick with them.
7) Surround yourself with like-minded individuals
This is not to say that all of your friends must share the same beliefs, major or background. Connecting with students in the same classes and those who maintain the same schedules can make it easier to manage your time. They may be more understanding of your schedule than others.
8) Pay attention
As simple as it sounds, paying attention in class will help you manage your time later. You want to grasp the topic being covered the first time around. When it’s time to prepare for an exam, you can divide your time better by focusing on topics you struggled with.
9) Be proactive
If you don’t understand something, speak up. Ask questions in class. Make an appointment to meet with your professor or teaching assistant. Don’t waste time and avoid the topic out of fear, and don’t put off trying to understand it until it’s too late.
10) Let go
Let go of the things that no longer serve you and your goals. This may include hobbies, jobs or people. Don’t let what you used to want hold you back from making time for your new goals. Accept that it is okay to change and adapt to move forward.
Learning to manage your time in college will benefit you as you pursue a career after graduation as well. Take the time to learn what strategies work best for you as a student so and adjust those strategies appropriately when faced with similar situations in the professional world.