Transitioning from high school to college can be tricky. Where the differences really add up is in your schedule and the new freedom you are allotted. Many, unfortunately, fall in the trap of not having enough personal time management skills to self-navigate. Get yourself started on the right foot by practicing these eight tips and tricks for managing your time wisely.
1. Give Yourself 20
An evening devoted to studying one subject or working on just one project is not anyone’s cup of tea. In fact, concentrating too hard or spending so much time on a single task can lead to boredom, frustration, or even a loss of concentration. If you’re going for quality, try limiting your intense work periods to 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes, turn off any and all distractions (including your phone) and hone in on the task at hand. Once your time is up, give yourself a 5-10 minute break to let your mind recover and prepare for the next round.
2. Cross it Off
Having a to-do list is a must during freshman year. With so much to keep track of, you’ll want to ensure you stay on top of every homework assignment and every meeting. Plus, with managing your dorm on top of your academic work, you may find yourself bogged down. However, when you can write down your actionable list, you can start to put the pieces together. The best way to write a to-do list is to first write everything you can think of down first with its due date on it. Then, order the due dates from soonest to latest (or rolling). Your new list should start with everything due immediately, then add in the most important or time consuming agenda items followed by those that can be left until the end.
3. Utilize Technology
When you tote around a laptop or tablet to class, you’ll want your time management helpers in one, easy to access place. Sites like Google and applications like Do It (Tomorrow) give you everything you need at the touch of a finger. Try online calendars, documents you can collaborate on with friends, and weekly planner apps to see what works for your routines.
4. Keep the Big Picture in Mind
It’s easy to get stuck on the day-to-day, but sometimes having the overall goal in mind can keep you motivated. For example, if you must pass your history class to be accepted into your major program, remind yourself of that frequently. If your goal is to stay in shape during the winter semester, try making an inspiration or vision board that you can hang over your desk or on a wall. Knowing that all of the little things you do will add up and enable you to make the right choices throughout the school year.
5. Study with Friends
Many college professors encourage students to team up and conquer the subject. Study groups make the extra effort more enjoyable and many report being able to memorize data faster when they are in the company of others.
6. Make it a Habit
Researchers say that it takes 21 consistent days to make something a habit. That could be working out at the student gym, practicing an instrument, studying for a class, or having homework time. Keep that in mind whenever you are starting a new routine. It will get easier and it will seem just part of your natural habits when you do it long enough.
7. Find the Perfect Work Space
Where you work makes a huge difference in how much gets accomplished. Find a space that is well lit (preferably with natural light), is quiet, and has comfortable seating. Studying outdoors is a great option, but be sure that you can actually get work done.
8. Reward Yourself
Successfully navigating your freshman year requires dedication and hard work. By starting a good study and work routine, while seeking out study groups, work spaces, and schedules that work for you; you can rock your first semester of school. Once your exams are up or you have passed that test, don’t be afraid to let your hair down and enjoy a little treat. After all, developing time management skills that work for you is always something to celebrate.
How do you plan to manage your precious time this year? Let us know in the comments!