With only 24 hours in a day, time is constrained especially if you are a student who is trying to make the most of the time they have before their final exams. In this blog, we will list some tips for staying organised and managing time effectively for college students to make it feel like they have more time or enough time to get things done.
Setting Clear Goals and Prioritizing Tasks
One of the best ways to stay motivated to do schoolwork is to set clear goals. To manage time properly is to know what you are using it for in the first place. That is why setting goals is an effective tool when it comes to time management as students. By identifying time wasters and setting goals you can help yourself stay on track efficiently.
To set goals, take a look at what you spend your time most in a day. Once you have identified it, try to cut it down. For example, note how long you use your phone or download one of those “Screen Time” apps to find out how many hours you spend using your phone. If your per-day screen time is 5 to 6 hours then try and get it down to 3 hours. By doing so, you will free up 3 to 2 hours for other activities.
When it comes to being organized, the first step is to set realistic goals. It’s important to be ambitious, but don’t try to do too much at once. You’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Start by assessing what you need to get done and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. Once you have a list of tasks, priorities them based on what’s most important. Then, set a realistic deadline for each task and make sure to stick to them. If something comes up and you can’t meet your deadline, don’t be afraid to adjust it. Just be sure to communicate with whoever you’re working with so that everyone is on the same page.
Creating a To-Do List
Start by creating a list of everything you need to do. You can use a digital tool or use a planner and write your list by hand. If you have a whiteboard, it can be a great tool because this way you can see your list at all times. Create this list in terms of priorities or deadlines.
How to make a To-Do List
Firstly, dump everything down on paper to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Even if you don’t worry you can do it later. This activity is primarily to free up your mind to accomplish other complex tasks instead of focusing (sometimes obsessively) on other issues. And with all the tasks in one place, you can organize them better. Now priorities the task that needs your immediate attention and put things in the order you need to do them.
Start by identifying your priorities and scheduling the most important tasks for the time of day when you’re at your best. Everyone is different, so find what works for you and stick to it. Some people work better in the morning, while others are more productive at night. Also remember to leave room for a breather in between, make a list that is a little flexible as you don’t want to stress yourself out.
Create a Calendar
Don’t want to be caught by surprise by an important assignment that is due two days from now or a dinner with family or friends on a night on which you planned to have a study session. Create and maintain a calendar for yourself that contains all your upcoming deadlines, exams, social events and other commitments so you know in advance what’s coming and have time to prepare for it.
Use an app or keep your calendar where you can see it every day. If you are going for a digital calendar make sure that you check it first thing in the morning to keep those events on top of your mind. For greater efficiency, ensure you connect it with other tools such as your email.
Digital Calendars you can use:
Allocating Time for Study and Break
When planning your day, it’s important to factor in both studying and leisure time. It’s easy to forget to take breaks when you’re busy with studies and other commitments, but it’s essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Start by deciding how many hours a day you want to dedicate to studying and how many hours for leisure activities. This will depend on your workload for the semester, but generally, I find that four hours of dedicated study per day is enough for most people. Another tip we would recommend is to plan specific days in the week for studying, rather than spreading it out throughout the week. This will give you dedicated blocks of time that make it easier to focus on studying and can help keep you accountable.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, small breaks throughout your day can also be really helpful to give your brain a boost. This could mean anything from taking a quick walk around the block, or playing some video games if you’re an avid gamer. Not only will regular breaks help you to be more productive, but they’ll also help keep you motivated in the long run; try setting yourself a timer so that you get back to studying afterwards!
Minimising Distractions and Multitasking
We have all been there – you are sitting down to get your work done and you start to feel the urge to check your phone or suddenly feel the need to vacuum the living room. If this happens to you, you are not alone. There are just too many distractions around.
But these distractions are not doing your productivity any favour when it comes to the time you need to focus on your work. To avoid being derailed by these kinds of interruptions, minimise temptations. By turning off notifications on your devices and finding a quiet place to study. Also, be mindful of multitasking, as research suggests that it actually makes us less productive and can lead to more distractions and mistakes.
By avoiding distractions, you will have more energy and focus for tasks that require more thought power and concentration. Make sure to track where your time is going with a time management spreadsheet such as Trello or Todoist. You will find yourself working more efficiently in no time!
Learning to Say “No”
Learning to say no is an essential part of setting your boundaries and protecting your time. you may get a lot of requests or invitations that you don’t have time for as a college student. It may be difficult at first, but it’s important to learn to say no as it will help you in the long run. It is essential to prioritise your own goals and needs over the demands of others.
When you do have to turn down an invitation request for help, try to be kind and understanding. Acknowledge that the person is just doing their best and explain why you can’t do it in a polite way.
Of course, there will be a time when saying ‘no’ will not be enough. In those cases, it’s best to be firm without being hostile in order to make sure they respect your boundaries and give you the space you need.
Use Technology Resources
It can be really helpful to use technology resources to help you stay organized and manage your time. One way to do this is by using cloud-based collaborative calendars that allow you to share your schedule with others and track tasks. You can also use a task list app or even a voice recognition technology like Alexa or Google Assistant to help you stay on top of all your activities.
For example, you can set reminders for yourself so you don’t forget any important deadlines or exams. If the thought of using technology overwhelms you, then start small and just try one new digital tool at a time. With some practice and patience, over time you will get more comfortable with it and it might even become second nature!
With these tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be able to stay productive, manage your time effectively and reach your goals with ease!