Time Management in College: Five Golden Rules [Guest Post]
Do you like to learn? I do! Every hour spent at the university was great fun to me. I love to broaden my knowledge, acquire new skills and use them later in practice. However, mastering knowledge of all subjects is extremely time-consuming, especially when each of them refers to different issues, which not always overlap. Therefore, if students want to get good scores in many disciplines, they should admit that time-management in college is crucial!
Meeting deadlines is one thing, and keeping the quality of the assimilated content high enough is another. Both issues are significant for students. The reason is that their combination is what makes students successful. I have to admit that I have experienced some slips in my life and terrible pangs of conscience due to the result – not meeting my obligations frustrates me greatly because it conflicts with my inner need to be perfect in everything.
Today, however, I am no longer the same person who started their adventure with studies. Today, I understand how valuable every minute of my day is. That’s why I try to use these 24 hours to the maximum, so as not to have any regrets that I wasted my time because I was too lazy. If you also want to boost your efficiency, check out five golden rules of time-management in college!
#1 – Learn to Say ”No”
Probably each of us at least once in their life found themselves in a situation in which the number of tasks to perform overwhelmed psych them out. Such moments particularly love to attract people who would like to have their project done by someone else as if those were walking with a loudspeaker and announcing they eagerly relieve their fellowmen in carrying out their duties.
I am well aware that saying ”no” is not the simplest thing to do; however, it’s paramount for time-management in college. We usually do not want to risk the consequences of refusing our help our college friends. After all, we may also need it one day, right? That is why the way in which we communicate this refusal is so crucial – find some practical advice on how to say ‘no’ so that nobody will consider us to be a chuff!
Believe me, if you finally start to devote 100% of your learning time to do your job, you will quickly feel the difference! It will allow you to focus as much as possible on what you can and take your exams without blinking an eye.
#2 – Do Not Distract Yourself
Improving your skills of time-management in college is a challenge to many students. Let’s face the truth: whenever we sit down to learn, everything starts to tempt twice as much. Social media, a book, an episode of a favorite TV series (especially when a difficult exam is approaching fast), even hunger starts to get worse than usual. I know it better than you think – as soon as you start learning, the sounds from the outside become much more intense and disperse the barely achieved concentration.
That’s why whenever I start learning, I turn off my wi-fi and put my phone away at a safe distance, much longer than the length of my arm, and also behind my back. When someone calls, I have the opportunity to get up and move. What’s more, I no longer check my Facebook account compulsorily reading the same entry three times. This way it is reliable and the results, although difficult to achieve, are incredibly satisfying – I do not waste time on staring at my smartphone and consuming a million different pieces of information.
I focus much better on the content to learn for a test or an exam, so I am also more satisfied with their results!
Besides, I have learned not to check now and then if I have received a message. It was incredibly difficult for me because I try to answer my friends’ questions as soon as possible. From experience, however, I know that immediately after any distractions connected to the phone, it is the news that distracts me the most.
#3 – Prepare a List Of Tasks
One of the most important principle of time-management in college is creating to-do lists. Did you know that we are doing much better when we stick to the established plan? Mastering the confusion is the easiest way to concentrate because knowing our next steps allows us to control the time we spend on it. Of course, chaos can also be creative and develop creativity, but unfortunately, this is not a good solution, not in the long run. By placing tasks in a more rigid framework, our efficiency is increased – and that is what it is all about!
Here, I have something of a sub-item for you, that is, use tools!Task lists can be drawn up in many ways. The easiest way is, of course, to take a piece of paper and a pen, but I prefer the application for a smartphone. I have already tried Todoist, Asana, Trello, Podio, and TimeCamp, so I know exactly how much time I need to learn a particular subject or to complete another project. I also enter data regularly into my calendar (Calendar for Mac OS). On top of all I have a notebook at hand, which I use to note down some ephemeral ideas and thoughts.
#4 – Set Yourself a Time Limit
When we learn or write some essays for classes, we often encounter the same type of tasks. Notes or scripts are usually of a similar size, so we can determine how long it will take us to prepare them, including any preparation – just as in the case of learning for a particular subject. Again, I will mention the time tracking tools, such as TimeCamp – just turn them on when you start learning, and the application will count the minutes and hours spent on that activity by itself.
Doing so definitely makes it easier for students to manage their time because they are able to divide their day in such a way that any of their duties is fulfilled at the expense of the other. Imagine how lucky it will be to learn of three subjects instead of two? I would be proud of myself, would you? You should! Following the rules of time-management in college means no more missed deadlines.
#5 – Take a Break
And the last but not the least rule of time-management in college is taking breaks! Our brain needs rest. Imagine working persistently out at a gym, putting yourself through the hoops there achieve the desired results. It is impossible for you to withstand it without even a short break! The same goes for the mind – it, too, needs rest to work correctly.
That is why it is so vital to take a break from time to time while creating something, which is a typically intellectual effort. For me, it usually means two minutes spent with my eyes closed, preparing a meal or, more and more often, a series of simple physical exercises. These small pauses will allow you to enhance your focus and give you the strength to do more work so that you will finish it much faster!
If you’ve missed our blog on helpful time-management activities for students, check it out now, so that you had a complete picture on how to manage your time.
Author: Ola Rybacka
Ola is a Community Manager at TimeCamp a time tracking software company and a new media maniac. She’s a Ph.D. and speech therapy student, treats the university as the second home. Likes reading science fiction and fantasy books, prefers rock and celtic music, loves sitting in the kitchen and cooking for her friends and family. Find her on Twitter here: @pidzuchna