10 Great Tips to Manage Your Time Better at College

Updated on May 14, 2019
Josh Mourne profile image

Family guy and dedicated high-school teacher in Florida. Aiming to help students with everything I can. Love reading and critical analysis.

College students often have troubles with organizing their time. And most of the time it plays a bad joke with the majority of students. Missed deadlines, terrible sleeping schedule, stress, bad grades and so on.

As I mentioned in my previous article, I want to help students with better time management in college. A part of that is organizing your work through to-do lists.

And now I'm going to provide you with 10 more tips on better time management in college.

Let's get it started!
Let's get it started!

10 Tips for Better Time Management in College

1. Organize your space

Can't find a paper you need right now? What about a notebook? Do you remember where have you left your pens and pencils? Or your bag to begin with? It it crucial to keep things in their place. Create a system that makes sense to you. With proper organizing you will always be able to find what you need in just a mere second.

2. Add buffer times

Don’t jump from task to task without a break. A 5-minute buffer between tasks helps you finish your first task and get started on the next one. It also gives your brain a break from intense bursts of focus so you don’t burn out before it's time.

3. Set your own deadlines

The day a major paper was due in college, most of your classmates trudged into class bleary-eyed from pulling all-nighters. Only a few looked well-rested and confident. How did they do it? By setting their own deadlines, a technique that remains useful in the professional world. When you have a long-term project due, give yourself deadlines for each section of the project. Set your complete-by date 3 days before the real deadline so you have time to perfect any potential snags. Remember, we are always more focused and productive when we have less time.

Pro tip: the paper won't write itself while you are reading this article
Pro tip: the paper won't write itself while you are reading this article

4. Break it down

Another reason your well-rested classmate had it easy was because he/she broke down a seemingly impossible task into manageable chunks. Separate your major tasks into sections, and set a time limit for each one. This helps create a plan for completing your assignments and papers and prevents you from obsessing over insignificant details.

5. Learn to say no

While college life is amazing with all these parties, music and almost zero responsibilities, you have to learn how to say "no". Why is it crucial? Because sometimes it's not a proper time for partying! You have a paper to write? Countless assignments to complete? And you're wondering if you should complete these assignments or throw a party? Remember, why you went to college in the first place. To study. And you have to prioritize it over the fun college life. You'll still have some time to rest. Probably.

6. Write down distracting thoughts

Even when you shut the door and block your favorite websites, unwanted thoughts still run through your head.

  • I need to pick up a prescription.
  • I wonder what’s on TV tonight.
  • I want to check social accounts.

When they do, don’t ignore them. They will bubble up in your head and continue to annoy you. Instead, write them down so you can think about any necessary distractions later. You can also try meditating to clear your mind.

It really is hard to stay focused at times
It really is hard to stay focused at times

7. Get off social medias

There is no denial to how social medias are able to consume our time and attention. A little bit of texting, a little bit of browsing leads to more than 4 hours over the day in social medias. That's terrifying! Now imagine how much more work you could've done in these 4 hours.

8. Put more time into studying during weekends

No, it’s not an ideal situation. But if you are overwhelmed by assignments, experiment with spending a couple of extra hours on the weekends studying – although I don’t recommend more than 2 extra hours a day. Who knows? Maybe you will catch up and eventually stop feeling stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed by these countless assignments.

9. Write everything down

Are you terrible at remembering what you need to do and when you need to do it by? Stop relying on your memory and start writing everything down in the same place. You won’t remember any reminders if you don’t know where they are. Try a reminder app on your smartphone, since it likely never leaves your side. Don’t like mixing studying and pleasure? Create separate reminders!

10. There is always time

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Like everyone else, you have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When you say “I don’t have time,” you are actually saying, “Something else is more important.” That’s fine, as long as you have your priorities in order. If you want to accomplish more, change how you manage your time by following these tips. But never attribute to your own unproductiveness to a perceived lack of time. There is always time.

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