Time Management Tips for Students
Energy and sanity can run low when a pile of work is never ending. Managing good grades, performing well at a big game or academic competition, spending quality time with family, and maintaining a social life can be exhausting. That’s why every student should invest in a time management game plan.
Your game plan is meant to fit your needs and lifestyle, and is customized by you, for you. If utilized, these habits can become a lifesaver, sparing you all-nighters and missed deadlines. Here are some effective and efficient time management techniques that — when integrated into your daily routine — can clear up some free time, change the way you approach your work, and give you some much-needed stress relief.
Have a Tangible Tool of Organization
Whether it’s a calendar, a planner, or reminders on your phone, implement a system where your to-do list and tasks, both personal and academic, are recorded in one place. Smartphone apps are a great way to stay on track. Try myHomework or MyStudyLife to stay on top of homework assignments, test dates, and other academic deadlines. Apps like 2Do and Todoist can help you organize all your tasks and commitments.
Organizational tools help you to see the bigger picture and plan out your time in a strategic way. Just think about how long each task will take you and set a definitive deadline. Then experience the feeling of accomplishment as you cross assignments off your list!
Designate One Workspace
Pick one location in your house, whether it’s your kitchen table or a desk in your room, to do your work. By choosing an official workspace, you are guaranteeing all the materials you need will be in the same place every day. Additionally, you are also mentally entering a work mindset every time you enter that space. Instead of running around your house looking for a textbook or pencil, everything you need will be right where you need it so you can jump into your work quickly and finish on time.
Break Down Big Tasks into Smaller Ones
Looking at a long prompt for an essay, a comprehensive study guide, or all your notes for the year when you’re studying for finals can be daunting. Instead, split the project into smaller tasks and create a schedule for yourself. Organize an essay into paragraphs, title each paragraph, and schedule one or two paragraphs a day. Instead of cramming and writing a whole paper in one day (or the night before a deadline), give yourself a week to work on it, and only do a bit a day so you won’t feel so overwhelmed.
You can do the same by making a designated study schedule for a final by assigning yourself only a few chapters of material each day the week before the exam. You will absorb the information more effectively and may even get a good night’s sleep before the big test!
Thoroughly Review Your Notes After Each Lecture
While it may seem like you’re giving yourself more work than you need, this study technique will spread your workload and cut down the study preparation time later. After each lecture, look over what you learned that day, look up and clarify any information you did not understand, neatly organize and re-type or re-write your notes, and create study questions based on the material.
Installing a study tool like the Quizlet app on your phone can help you review your notes in a flashcard format or convert them to outlines and practice tests. That way, your study materials are at your fingertips anytime you have a spare minute or two to review them. In general, establishing good study habits will save you from stressful last-minute cramming.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Assigning a priority level to each task will help you stay organized. Assign each task a deadline and move the task up your priority list as their deadline approaches. Decide if the deadline is flexible (e.g., laundry) or firm (e.g., the due date for your history essay) so you know which tasks need to be completed first.
Need additional help staying on track? IvyWise counselors have the expertise to help you stick with your college prep plan. Schedule an Initial Consultation to learn how we can help you achieve your academic goals.