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Time Management in College

December 16, 2016
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by David McLachlan

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with your workload in high school? Are you a professional procrastinator? Do you feel like there just isn’t enough time in the day? When you get to college, managing your time well is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success. Here are some tips I wrote with new college students in mind (but many are very applicable to life in high school, too!)

  1. Make a schedule/agenda: This is what I find to be the most important part in managing my time. I know it may sound nerdy but schedules really do help! Personally, I am constantly making schedules in my phone’s Notes app for easy access. Schedules help you remember what you have to do, when you need to do it, and how long it will take to do it. Also, schedules don’t only have to include academic responsibilities; put some time for a social life in there, too. Plan your day from start to finish! Deadlines can be very unnerving, but with a schedule at hand you can see the finish line. The more you keep up with a schedule, the more free time you’ll have!
  2. NO DISTRACTIONS: I get it, scrolling down Facebook watching videos of cats getting brain freezes for half an hour can be highly amusing (trust me, I’ve been there), but not when there is work to be done! If you have a hard time focusing on the task at hand try detaching yourself from social media, mute any group chats that you’re in and leave the smart phone all the way at the other side of the room on SILENT until you finish your work, then troll as you please!
  3. The early bird gets the worm: the earlier you wake up in the morning the more time there is in the day to do all the things you need to do (just call me Captain Obvious). Save sleeping in late for the weekends when you deserve it after a long week of hard work. Also, try getting to bed earlier rather than later the night before; a total of 7-9 hours per night is suggested for a healthy lifestyle for most individuals. When you get a good night’s sleep, you’ll have more energy to put into a day’s work!
  4. Prioritize: I have always found that keeping track of your assignments from largest to smallest, hardest to easiest, or even slowest to fastest is one of the best ways to meet deadlines. The biggest assignment is your main priority, so work on it a little each day along with completing other assignments along the way. This helps you to avoid cramming an entire assignment the night before it’s due. When you do an entire assignment the night before it will most likely be noticeable to your professor and can also cause you unnecessary stress. Focusing on only one assignment at a time can be detrimental to other assignments as well, resulting in a deadline to sneak up on you right before your eyes.

If you have tried these tips in high school or at other institutions and they still don’t work for you, there is still hope because Purchase College has a lot of support to offer! There are plenty of faculty and staff that are more than willing to sit down with you and help you manage your time in a healthy way. Academic Advisors specifically are great people to go to if you are struggling with time management because they know the exact classes you are taking and will have several helpful tips for taking on their workload. Now, go use your time wisely and don’t forget to have fun!