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Time-Management Tips for College Students

See also: Getting Organised for Study

Time Management in College: How to Have Time for Everything

We all started college with the clear expectation to have the best time of our lives.

Of course we were ready to study and complete different assignments, but we didn’t expect them to occupy our entire time.

Here is the most important question on every student’s mind: “How do I write every single essay, get ready for the exams, and have fun at the same time?

Maybe you think that’s an impossible mission, but the answer to that question is pretty simple: effective time management.

When you start organizing your life according to a particular system, you’ll achieve a whole new level of productivity.

Here are some tips that will help you do that.

Time Management Skills for Students

1) Use time-saving apps

If you have to handle too many tasks in a single day, you need to start using some apps that will make multitasking easy. Here are some suggestions:

  • IFTTT

    When you use so many apps and services, it’s easy to spend a great deal of time with them. The initial purpose of this service is to connect the different online services you’re using. For instance, IFTTT can post your tweets as Facebook statuses, and it can automatically share your Instagram photos to Twitter and Facebook.

    However, IFTTT is much more than it initially seems. Think about it: the app can light up the room for you at sunset, set the coffee machine to prepare a good-morning coffee, tell your friends where you are, and keep your family updated when you’re heading for home.

  • Pocket

    You locate an awesome online resource that can help you complete an assignment? Your bookmarks tab is already full of icons, so you can easily forget about the source before you start working on the task. Thanks to Pocket, you can save all that content and access it even when you’re offline.

2) Plan your time

Let’s say you plan to spend five hours of your day in classes, three hours studying, two hours writing assignments, and have your well-deserved rest after that. You may have a plan in your head but, if you don’t put it in writing, you’ll easily get distracted.

Here are some apps you can use for that purpose:

  • Clear

    Are you still using daily planners and post-it notes to keep track of your tasks and ideas? It’s time to abandon that practice since you can easily lose the paper. With Clear, you’ll be able to keep track of all daily tasks in a simple app. Clear allows you to set priorities in your daily lists, thanks to the color-coding system that indicates their urgency.

  • Remember the Milk

    This is one of the simple apps that let you create daily lists of tasks. You can easily add new to-dos, and you’ll never forget an important task or deadline because the app will send a reminder via IM, email, text, or Twitter.

3) Start working on your assignments as soon as possible

Study Skills - Note Taking

When you have to study for the upcoming exams, the last thing you need is yet another research paper, essay, book review, or another type of assignment your professors request.

Some students decide to outsource when they encounter such difficulties, but you have to admit that such practices are unethical.

Really smart and organized students, on the other hand, start working on their assignments as soon as they get the instructions.

Be honest: your professors probably didn’t give you instructions for the term paper just before exam week, did they? You know the requirements and submission dates for complex projects a few weeks or even months before the deadline, so you can organize your time without feeling any pressure.

Use your Google Calendar and mark the due date with red. Then, plan how much time you’ll need to get that assignment done, and organize the workload in stages.

Start with the research process as soon as you possible, develop an outline, and then start writing at least one page per day. You won’t even feel the stress that usually comes hand in hand with the writing process.



4) Get some sleep!

Continuous lack of sleep is a serious cause of stress. You think you’ll achieve more when you sleep less, but things are not that simple.

When you don’t get enough rest, your body stops responding efficiently to new information, and you feel the fatigue and tension in all muscles as well.

You have to sleep for at least seven hours a day if you want to maintain your mind and body as fresh as possible.

See our page: The Importance of Sleep for more information.

5) Take notes during class

How are you using your time during lectures? Are you listening to everything the professor says, or are you talking to your friends or playing games on your phone?

When you do your best to listen and learn during class, you’ll need much less time to complete the papers and get ready for the exams, since you’ll already have a solid base of information in your head.

Write down all important points your professor emphasizes. You can use a plain notebook (see our page on Note-Taking for some tips) or a note-taking app (like Evernote) on your tablet to do that.

6) Learn how to say NO

Your friends ask you to go to the movies, but the due date for an important term paper is tomorrow?

You know you won’t be able to write anything if you go out, since you’ll go to have few drinks after the movie. In some situations, you’ll need to say no. Your professor won’t extend the deadline for the term paper, but you can certainly go to the movies and have fun the next day.

You may find our further reading on Assertiveness Skills useful.

7) Discover your rhythm

You can’t change the class schedule and you’ll have to attend classes at a particular time of day, but you have the flexibility to deal with the rest of your time as it works best for you.

If, for example, you notice that you’re doing your best work in the mornings, you can start waking up really early, do a short exercise routine, have a coffee, and do some studying before you head off to class.

If you’re a night person, then you can have a nap after classes, spend some time with your friends during the day, and leave the night for studying and completing papers. Everyone’s productivity peaks at different times of the day.

When you discover your own rhythm, it will be easy for you to organize your time around it.

8) Isolate yourself during midterms and finals

You’ll have your life back as soon as exam week is over. During midterms and finals, you have to isolate yourself from your friends, family, social media, forums, and anything else that distracts you from the really important things. No time-management technique will help you to get space for those things during survival time.
Commit yourself to studying and let everyone know finals are coming. Then, organize your time in a way that allows you to leave enough space for each subject. Once you go through this stressful period with success, you’ll be free to have as much fun as you want.


You’re the Boss of Your Own Time!

This is the most important thing to remember: you can have time for everything in college. You don’t have to sacrifice your studies for the sake of having friends, and you don’t have to eliminate your social life if you want to have good grades. If you follow the tips above, you’ll notice that you can do much more in those 24 hours you get in a day.

About the Author


Alice Depp is a creative writer.

She has recently graduated college. She is planning to launch her blog, so now she is getting experience in digital writing sphere. Her hobbies include playing tennis, reading and handicraft.

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