One of the main causes of stress in a college student's life has to be figuring out how to manage their time correctly and effectively. I must admit that it was something that was and often still is a challenge for me, being someone who is pretty involved on campus. Time management is essential to your overall success and well being and is a skill you need to develop not just for college, but also for your future. These tips, tricks, and techniques will help you along the twisting, turning, never-ending to do list you will surely encounter in your college years.
Tip: Keep a calendar or agenda in your phone and actually use it.
Keeping track of your meetings, appointments, and due dates is absolutely one hundred and ten percent necessary in order to keep organized and on time. Whether you are old fashioned and choose to keep a written agenda and/or calendar in your room (or a mini one you can carry around with you), or set alerts and reminders on your phone, you must write it all down! Do not rely on your memory to keep track of when that lab report is due, what time you were supposed to meet with your accounting professor, and when you were supposed to call your grandma because you will most likely forget at least one of those things! Writing (or typing) keeps it all neat, together, and helps when you have a free minute to physically see what you need to work on.
Trick: Set dates earlier than the actual due dates to get things done ASAP.
When I struggled with time management my second semester of my freshman year, I made a separate calendar with due dates that were one or two days earlier, or days that I knew I would be free in order to make myself do them earlier. This works because you end up handing in assignments early, and if you are "late" on the early calendar you'll still be on time on the real one. This really helps for any procrastinator type workers who really are motivated and succeed under pressure and shorter time limits.
Technique: Set aside time for yourself.
In a full day of classes, work, and homework/studying, it is easy to get overwhelmed and forget to have fun and relax. By scheduling a fun activity during the middle of the week (or end, depending on your schedule) you allow yourself to take a moment and enjoy life! Set aside time to call your best friend, watch an episode of Netflix, or go for a run (idk some people enjoy exercise I think). It will clear your head and refresh you to move on and do some work afterwards.
Tip: Work on assignments little by little.
Getting a 10-page paper done in one night will be brutal. Don't do it. Instead spend at least a half hour or so out of your day writing a few paragraphs at a time and spend the final nights reading it over and fixing any flaws. It will save you from lack of sleep, losing flex from getting five cups of coffee at Jazzmans and so much stress! You can also do this with reading assignments or studying for a big exam by reading or studying for at least 15 minutes a night.
Trick: Limit yourself to just ONE episode of Netflix.
The truth is Grey's Anatomy will still be there when you have time on Saturday afternoon, so get back to work. Part of time management is self control and knowning exactly how much fun to have and when it's time to get back to your paper. There will be times when your friends are going to get ice cream and you can't imagine passing that up, but you'll have to in order to pass that Statistics exam.
Technique: Actually follow all of the above.
They might sound like good suggestions and be difficult to follow through with but they will be helpful and keep your life in order. There are times when you should be spontaneous and go with the flow, but it is always a good idea to stay on task and get things done to avoid stress and sleep deprivation.