Those days when you are stuck in your dorm room, writing a paper or doing a lab last-minute while all your friends are hanging out and enjoying their time is one of the worst feelings you can have. If this is something you find happening to you often, there are a few ways you can find more time to relax and have fun while still managing to finish your assignments.
College is undoubtedly a stressful time full of homework, student organizations, and work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. One of the most significant ways to reduce your stress is to learn how to manage your time efficiently. I struggled with this a lot my freshman year, but once I figured out how to make my schedule work for me, things got abundantly easier, and I could find more time for myself. Time management will allow you to enjoy yourself, get involved, and still find time to ace your classes.
Self-reflection is one of the most important parts of time management; Understand what works for you and be honest with yourself. If you don’t think you’ll be able to wake up in time for an 8 a.m. class, then don’t sign up for it! Many people convince themselves they can work it out, only to find themselves exhausted, overworked, and falling behind. Instead, schedule your classes during times that you know you’re more likely to be productive. I try to schedule all of my classes in the middle of the day, back to back. This makes it easier for me to plan when I want to relax, eat, and study.
I also like to break my day up into sections or blocks. This helps me not only look at my schedule as a whole, but break it down into smaller segments to focus on larger individual tasks I need to complete.For example, I might say that I have to finish an assignment before a particular class or that I am going to eat after work. Another easy way to do this is to schedule the exact time. Sometimes picking a concrete thing you have to do works better and makes you feel more determined to get your work done, whereas a random time can often feel too imprecise unstructured.
After you’ve developed a routine and planned a schedule that works for you, it’s essential to start looking at your schedule less holistically. Getting a daily planner is the best way to do this. With a planner, you can focus on every individual task you need to do throughout the day. Once you’ve finished your assignments, you can mark them off as done. This helps you stay focused every single day. You can also get a more extensive calendar for each month in planners, so you can write down important due dates to ensure you do not miss out on anything substantial.
Learning to do this in a way that works for you is an essential part of time management. Sometimes what works for others will not work for you, which is normal. It’s necessary to understand what you need and stick to that. Time management is one of the most important things you learn in college, and without it, you can struggle a lot. If you embrace it, you can find the most productive and happy version of yourself, where you have time to do what you enjoy and time to do your work.