Time Management Tips For College Students

How To Manage College, Work and Fun


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The key is to learn the habit of getting started on a task early, i.e. the procrastinator needs to learn to initiate well in advance studying and preparing for papers and exams. Practice starting studying several times every day. As with exercising, getting in control of starting and making it a routine are the secrets.

Other valuable suggestions include:

• Recognize self-defeating problems such as; fear and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisiveness and perfectionism.

• Keep your goals in mind and identify your strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities.

• Compare your actions with the values you feel you have. Are your values consistent with your actions?

• Discipline yourself to use time wisely: Set priorities.

• Study in small blocks instead of long time periods. For example, you will accomplish more if you study/work in 60 minute blocks and take frequent 10 minute breaks in between, than if you study/work for 2-3 hours straight, with no breaks. Reward yourself after you complete a task.

• Motivate yourself to study: Dwell on success, not on failure. Try to study in small groups. Break large assignments into small tasks. Keep a reminder schedule and checklist.

• Set realistic goals.

• Modify your environment: Eliminate or minimize noise/ distraction. Ensure adequate lighting. Have necessary equipment at hand. Don't waste time going back and forth to get things. Don't get too comfortable when studying. A desk and straight-backed chair is usually best (a bed is no place to study). Be neat! Take a few minutes to straighten your desk. This can help to reduce daydreaming.

• Decide you’ve had enough, and it’s time for change.

• Think about the activities that you use to procrastinate (email, TV, etc.) and set clear time limits on them.

• Set clear goals for each day (e.g., start CHEM problem set, do POL reading, go to friend’s recital) and stick to them. Then when you are done, you are free to do whatever you like.

• Break large projects into smaller pieces.

• Remember that procrastination is usually followed by serious academic stress.

• Recall how awful it is to stay up all night to write a paper. That can help you get started on the next one.

• Know that overcoming procrastination is sometimes easier if you talk out strategies for change with someone else.

Balancing classes, homework, working, and fun can lead to a great deal of stress for the average college student. It’s normal to feel stressed with so much going on. You may feel like your life has spiraled out of control, but rest assured, your fellow students are feeling somewhat the same way. In the next section, we’ll explore stress, what causes it, and how to lessen it.

Next Chapter>>Stress Management

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