Time Management and Schedule Organization
It’s no secret that college is a busy time for everyone. With upper-level courses, activities, homework, and managing a social life it can be exhausting. The great thing about college is that it gives you the opportunity to grow in your time management and accountability before entering the real world. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep up with all your deadlines, homework, class times, activities, and still build your social life and make time for yourself.
Buy a paper planner. Of course, I can’t help but reinforce the effectiveness of owning a planner where you can physically write out your schedule on a weekly, daily, and monthly basis. Not only does this provide a visual for you to refer to throughout the week, but it also keeps you organized and decreases the chances of forgetting something important, such as assignments and projects. By filling out this planner, you will find yourself remembering every assignment coming up, which brings a great opportunity to make sure everything is completed before the last minute.
Digitize your calendar. Technology is a beautiful thing, so make sure you use it for more than TikTok or gaming. A handy-dandy app called google calendar will become your best friend throughout your years of school. Google Calendar allows you to sync your calendar to your laptop, iPhone, iPad, and any other device hooked up to google calendars. Before the semester begins, add in all your class meeting times and set a ten-minute reminder for yourself. This will send notifications to every device synched to the calendar and remind you of class time even if you don’t wake up on time or become distracted with another task. Having this calendar hooked up to all your devices makes it easy to pull up on your laptop or phone when you may find yourself wondering about your weekend availability, free time, or certain tasks that are approaching. Plus, by adding Google Calendar to only one device, every edit is shared with each device making your life ten-times easier.
Get old-fashioned sticky notes/whiteboard calendars. For some students, using a whiteboard calendar to hang in their room is incredibly effective. It provides the opportunity to glance at your calendar every morning before you head out, helping you make sure you're on top of it all. Also, never underestimate the power of sticky notes as active reminders for important dates and assignments. You can place these sticky notes on your laptop, desk, or nightstand in a convenient place to keep your reminders organized and keep you planning ahead.
List out your priorities every week. One technique I have loved since starting college has been listing out my priorities each new week. Whether I do this on my phone, on a sheet of notebook paper, or on my laptop, listing out my priorities helps me see what assignments need to get done on which days. For instance, let’s say I have a project due on Wednesday and a quiz on Friday. The project due Wednesday is a task that needs to be completed prior to studying for the quiz. So, I can plan to complete the project by Tuesday night, which gives me at least two days to study for the upcoming quiz the next day. Now I’m not overwhelmed trying to get the project done and risk getting a bad grade on my quiz. This also works when figuring out a time to hang out with friends or personal time, but more on that later.
Don’t forget to make time for yourself. Listen, scheduling out all of your time to complete homework and study is great. However, doing that will eventually lead to burnout and missing on all the experiences that college brings. Participating in student events, meeting new people, and everything in between- that creates memories. On the other hand, you want to make sure you have time for yourself. By following the previous time management steps, you’ll be able to stay on top of everything while also having time to hang out with friends and take time to relax when needed. With all of the stressors that college brings, you want to make sure that resting and recuperating is a priority.
Above all, stay motivated. There’s no greater piece of advice than staying motivated through it all. Keep writing in your planner, always add to your calendar, and work on bigger assignments little by little everyday to ensure you won’t find yourself cramming for a project or test the night before. It’s one thing to have the resources at hand to keep you organized, but it's up to you to stay motivated as you make it through higher education.
Although attending college is full of unknown mysteries, it’s a wonderful opportunity to figure out your own style of planning and organization that will carry you through the rest of your life. Of course, time management skills won’t come right away, so make sure you keep practicing and finding your own way of staying on top of every assignment, class, and new opportunity that comes with higher learning.