Time Management Tips For College Students

How To Manage College, Work and Fun

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Some people procrastinate because they have too much to do. You might have every intention of doing things in a timely manner, but time can move swiftly. There are only 24 hours in a day. Thoughtfully examine your obligations and responsibilities. Make sure your schedule is realistic and you aren’t involved in too many activities at one time. If you spread yourself too thinly, none of your projects will get the attention they deserve.

Some people are good at summarizing major ideas. Others write exceptionally well. Some people work well with others. Find out what your assets are. Then work them into everything you do. This will improve your confidence and motivation for tackling a distasteful job.

Reward yourself lavishly when tasks are completed on time. Make the reward appropriate for the difficulty and boredom of the task.

Remember that you're not alone. Some studies report that up to 40% of college students experience procrastination as a real problem. Many students tend to mass their practice. That is, do most of the work in marathon sessions near academic deadlines and fail to make appropriate use of various study aids and supports at appropriate times. Doing this only leads to more stress in your already stressful life. Why add to it?

But why do you procrastinate on tasks related to goals you want to achieve? Procrastination often emerges as a means of distancing oneself from stressful activities. People allocate more time to the judged-easy task than to judged-difficult tasks. Dealing with the underlying stressful aspects of the activities can assist in reducing the extent of procrastination. We’ll address the problem of stress management a little later.

Here's one practical application. If the volume of work on your to-do list overwhelms you, you might benefit from making a "one-item list": re-write the top item from your list at the top of a blank page and work the task to completion, then repeat.

Some people have to overcome procrastination gradually. Studying, like drinking, is usually in binges. Almost no one has trouble studying (a little) the night before a big exam. But without the pressure of an exam, many students find it easy to forget studying.

I'd suggest breaking big jobs down into manageable tasks and working on "getting started," perhaps by tricking yourself by saying "I'll just do five minutes" and then finding out you don't mind working longer than five minutes. This is called the "five minute plan."

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