For numerous college students, one of the largest differences between high school and college is the need to control your own time effectively. If you began learning time management skills in high school, you have a definite edge over many college students. Still, you need to make adjustments to the educational environment. The key to efficient time management is that now you are your own Boss. Instead of being responsible towards others like teachers and parents, now you need to be accountable to you! Here are some time management tips for students from Michael Eckerman.
-Have your long-term goals in view.
Map a plan to reach your goals. You are here. What courses must you take to get to your goal?
-Plan everything you know about!
Use a calendar to write down class times, work times, social events, and breaks. When up-coming events cross beyond the current month, write them into new calendar blocks.
-Start tomorrow at the end of today.
Plan each day beginning with when you intend to get up. Use a to-do list for daily activities. Put listed events into their appropriate time slots and prioritize the rest of your list, says Michael Eckerman.
-Work your plan.
Often it’s easy to stop a task and quickly deal with what we think is a small interruption. Sometimes little gaps snowball into big time consumers. Accomplish your day according to your plan. If something new needs attention, wedge it into your program or if it is an immediate emergency, make sure you reschedule your current task. Also, be sure to mark your place. Write a note to yourself if need be.
-Do the hard stuff first.
Once, the worst part of a project is over; the rest will be easy! If the “hard stuff” is keeping you from getting started, then start with something easy to prove to yourself that you can get the job done!
-Break things down to the simplest.
Dividing large assignments into little parts makes it easier to fit them into your schedule. Also, you’ll benefit from a sense of completion as you finish each phase. It’s a lot more satisfying to visualize what you have done than it is to struggle over what remains to do, reminds Michael Eckerman.
-Rules were made to be twisted.
Build some versatility into your schedule. Give yourself more time to cope with delays in your schedule. As well as time to work, build in some time to play. Planning recreational projects and regarding them as important parts of your day gives you something to work towards.
-There’s always tomorrow.
Like any other skill, it takes the time to learn how to manage your time. Even time management experts have days when their whole schedule falls apart. Michael Eckerman says that if yours does, don’t quit on time management. Instead, pick up the pieces and start the next day again. Review your programs at the end of each week to see what did and what didn’t work for you. Build on your successes as you develop plans and time management strategies for following weeks.