Ah, time. It’s that crazy thing we always swear we need “more ” of, even though there are always and will always be 24 hours at our disposal every day. CRAY, right?? When we find ourselves wigging out, too short on time with too much to do, it might be a moment to step back and check out how we’ve been managing our time and where we can make a few tweaks to save ourselves the headache in the future.
Especially being in college, there is always SO MUCH TO DO. Besides classes and homework and other academic obligations (hello, exams), you’ve got access to seemingly every club under the sun, and you’re likely simultaneously tryna get employed while you’re at it. Plus, you’ve got places to go and people to meet, because you’re a blossoming human being! If you’re like me, you’re also part craycray, because I’m finishing up my senior year at UPenn, planning my fall wedding, launching a business, and figuring out how to close on a home all at the same time. And if I can make it to this hump day without having yet pulled a 2007 Britney Spears or without drowning myself in coffee, you can get through, too.
Here are 8 time management tips for college success.
Block your courses.
Instead of scattering your courses randomly throughout the week, block them to be back-to-back on only specific days. Know in advance that that one or two hour break you’re trying to add will most likely not be used on cramming in a quick study – it’s going to be used for Netflix or socializing. Keeping all of your courses in one foul swoop also means you can be in your school mindset for one solid chunk of time before switching to another task. Plus, you’re done earlier.
Oh, the world of bringing computers to class. In high school, you didn’t really have an option – you were gonna pay attention, or the teacher would call you out and take your cell phone. No laptops, no phones…heck, no GUM in some places! Now you’re in college, and you can bring the whole shebang to class – computers, tablets, phones, coffee, and my personal favorite: snacks. It can be so so (so) easy to just “multi-task” your way through, hopping mentally in and out of lectures as you deem them to be “important.” But take it from this chronic multi-tasker – it. is. not. good. Practice being present in class and really focusing on what the professor is saying, even if you hate the material. Otherwise, exam time will come along and you’ll have absolutely no clue what was even on the syllabus…yet alone how to apply it to ace a test. You’ll be going back and spending double the amount of time you would have if you just paid attention in the first place, so be present whenever the opportunity presents itself. (These aren’t just time management tips for college…they work for life. 😉 )
Figure out whether you’re an owl or rooster.
That is, night owl or early riser? When do you work best, and when do you feel the most engaged, alert, and inspired to get work done? Even though it might seem like everyone and their mother stays up until the wee hours of the morning to #werk, don’t feel obligated to follow suit if that’s not how you best work. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve *never* pulled an all-nighter in college…except for the re-launch day of CUR’s new look. 😉 If you work best getting up at 6 am everyday to workout and grab breakfast and be workin’ by 8, do it! If there’s one thing you’ll get out of college, it’s “to each his/her own.”
Color Code like it’s your job.
Go treat yo’self to the brightest pack of Post-it’s you can find and the prettiest pack of colored pens. These will now become your school supply sidekicks – embrace it! I’m a visually-oriented person, so color coding is my way of being able to quickly discern what’s happening without too much deciphering. Color code your calendar, your notes…anything and everything, so long as you do it strategically. Don’t just switch colors for the sake of prettying up your papers; try picking out specific colors to signify specific things, so that you your brain just knows what means what after awhile.
Live by your calendar and schedule everything in – including “me time”!
This could easily end up being one of the craziest, busiest times of your life. Of all time management tips for college, this is one of the most important to staying on track! Synchronize every calendar you own and schedule EVERYTHING…including time to just relax and recharge for yourself! Sync your G-Cal to your phone, but also consider good ol’ paper planners. After going through four at one time, I finally found this one and am absolutely *obsessed*. I schedule everything out to the half hour, and I love this particular planner because it’s got space to just “brain dump,” an area to schedule meals and any necessary shopping 😉 , and space to check your water intake and prayer life. While you’re scheduling in classes and events and coffee dates galore, make sure you take a hot sec to schedule time for yourself, too!
Make everything doable from your smart phone.
‘Tis the day and age, right? But really, the one thing that will *always* be with you, whether you’re running (literally) to class or at a party with friends, is your phone. You’re already on board with your digital calendar, so the next best digital switch? Digital payments. In college, you’re going to be going to all sorts of random events, both on and off campus, and things like BYO’s or Greek like activities or extracurricular trips. It’s all up a notch, so gone are the days of needing to run to an ATM anytime you’re splitting a cab or owe a friend for pizza or coffee (college essentials, obviously). Download Circle – a *free* social payment app that’s secure, instant, and fee-less for sending money to your friends on the fly. Just snap a photo of your debit card or credit card in the app, and you can send cash out or bring it in – plus, you can personalize money payments with things like cat GIF’s or emojis, so #yaaaaaas. Suddenly, everything from sorority dues to spring break plans just got way easier, and I’m a fan of that. (And speaking of spring break, if you download Circle ASAP, make sure you go under “Settings” and enter promo code SB2016 to be entered to win $1000 towards your spring break trip this year!)
Balance your courseload.
Too much of something is typically going overboard, unless that something is Girl Scout cookies. Don’t be that person who tries to get all the hard stuff outta the way right off the bat. It’ll be best for your mental AND academic game if you strategically register for courses that complement each other, so that you’re never stuck with an unmanageable load for the semester.
Log your time.
How do you know if you’re succeeding at managing your time? Track it! Log how long it takes you to do various tasks, and use that when building future schedules for yourself. If you know you take a bit longer to write a paper than complete a problem set, plan accordingly. It’s not rocket science – it’s just college. 😉
What are your best time management tips for college?
This girl has still got three months to go, so there’s always room to learn more, right?
*This post is brought to you in partnership with Circle and Her Campus Media. As always, all opinions and thoughts are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!