BASICS OF TIME MANAGEMENT
You have to start somewhere, and these tips can help you learn the basics of time management.
1. Write things down
With so much going on it’s hard to remember every little thing you have to do — unless you write it down of course. Get a student planner or a notebook to take down all your important engagements, assignments and more.
2. Don’t take too many semester hours
Unless you’re ultra-ambitious, taking more than 18 hours a semester is unnecessary and will result in extra stress and less time to concentrate on each class. Take a reasonable amount of classes each semester so you won’t feel completely overwhelmed.
3. Stay organized
You’ll save yourself loads of time later by staying organized from the get-go. Instead of having to hunt around for notes, assignments and misplaced papers, keeping them all in one place makes studying and doing homework easier and less stressful.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
Multitasking may seem like a good idea, but you’ll get more done by focusing your energy on one task at a time. Once you’ve finished one thing you can check it off your list and move onto the next.
5. Take charge of your time
At the end of the day, only one person has control over how you spend your time, and that’s you. Take charge of your day, get important things done and learn to say no if you have to.
6. Resist the urge to procrastinate
Everyone knows how hard it is to study when it’s nice outside or you’re friends want you to do something with them. The world is full of distractions, and to be an effective time manager, you have to find a way to stay focused when it counts. To reward yourself for staying focused, give yourself short breaks while studying.
7. Avoid taking classes on material you’ve already learned
Many colleges will require you to take courses that may be over things you already know. See if you can test out (CLEP out) of these courses instead to save yourself the time and effort of studying things you already know.
8. Get an early start to your day
College students aren’t usually known as the “early bird” types, but you can do yourself a huge favor by getting up early. You’ll have more time during the day to work on homework and study, which will leave your evenings free to do things you enjoy.
9. Learn material the first time around
If you don’t understand something in class, ask your instructor after class to explain it to you again, or request extra help from a tutor. Take the time to ensure you learn the concept the first time. It can help you to more easily understand concepts that follow.
10. Control your surroundings
While you can’t always make your study environment distraction free, you can do your best to create an environment that is most conducive to getting work done. Go to the library, put on headphones or whatever it takes to keep you from being distracted.
11. Have confidence in your abilities
Sometimes your schedule will seem almost impossible. Have confidence that you can do things, and you may surprise yourself. You’ll never know how much you can do unless you test yourself, so give yourself opportunities to shine, even under pressure.
12. Get the most out of class
If you’re just going to class to sleep or talk to your friends, you’re wasting time. Read over class materials ahead of time. This will allow you to concentrate on the elements of the lessons that are truly important and make it easier for you to study in the future.
13. Know what’s important to you
Everyone has a different idea of what they want from college. Some people want a 4.0 GPA and others want to make friends and build lasting relationships. Decide what things are most important to you and focus your energy on these things.
Although you may not have very many hours spent in class each week, you still have to account for the time you’ll need to study for them. Here are some tips on how you can fit study time into your schedule.
1. Take advantage of downtime. If you take a long bus ride each day or have some spare time while you do your laundry, why not use it to get a little studying in? The less time you waste during downtime, the more time you’ll have later.
2. Set goals. It can be hard to get motivated to study when you don’t have a clear goal in mind. Set a goal of how much you want to get done and try your best to meet it.
3. Use the syllabus. Your syllabus will let you know when and how fast you’ll be covering topics in your class. You can use it to get ahead when you have extra time or to know when and what you’ll need to work on each day to keep up.
4. Work to boost your memory. You’ll spend much less time studying if you can remember what you study the first time around. Easier said than done, but you can play games, read books and eat foods that will help keep you at your maximum memory potential.
5. Learn what works for you. Different methods work better for different people. If your current study method isn’t getting you the grades that you want, try something new. You may find that you learn the material much easier by making a simple change.
6. Study difficult subjects first. There’s no sense in putting off the worst for last — it will only encourage you to procrastinate and you will get less done in the long run. Get the hard stuff out of the way first and you will be much happier with you day!
7. Work in short blocks with breaks. You won’t be doing yourself any favors by pulling marathon study sessions with no breaks. Studies have shown that the most effective way to get through material is to go through it in smaller sessions and to give your brain and eyes time to rest by taking short breaks.
8. Team up with classmates. There’s no need to study alone if you learn better by working with your classmates. Sometimes collaboration can be a much faster way to get through material. It can also be very helpful if you’re struggling with certain concepts.
9. Avoid skipping class. While everyone skips a class now and again, try not to make a habit of it. Going to class will make it easier for you to keep up with the material and it will give you the chance to ask questions.
10. Create a strategy. You’ll get the most out of your studying if you have a strategy. Focus on certain subjects first or spend a little extra time on topics that you struggle with.
Homework may not be fun, but you still need to get it done, and the sooner the better. Here are some tips on making homework as painless and time-friendly as possible.