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How to Manage Effectively Your Time being a College Student

The old saying goes that time is money and that rings true for some people, but not for the unemployed, who statistically have fewer chances of having money. They mostly have nothing but time in their hands, literally. How is time money for them then? But that is beside the point. What is time for the college student? It is greatness, it is volunteering, it is a party, it is learning, it is getting a girlfriend/boyfriend, it is growing. Essentially, time is what one makes it. Given all the aspects of life that one must shape in college, time is everything and time is nothing. Effective time management determines how much success one attains in college, and lacking in it can affect your life adversely. In fact, most of the mistakes people make coming into college boil down to time management.

So how then does one manage time effectively enough in college? The following tips are not everything there is to it, but they sure are a big part of it. Follow closely.

1.      Planning  

This is probably the most repeated piece of advice with regard to managing time. The good news is that it is not overrated. The attack that killed Osama Bin Laden took four painstaking months to plan yet it was executed in under forty minutes. That is how grueling planning is. On the other hand, that is how effective it is. Had the planning process been any less detailed or meticulous, history might have turned out quite differently. Similarly, one must take a time to plan out every day’s activity in college. Ideally, this should come at the end of every day. This allows for the assessment the day’s achievements, get insights on what you can do better, and any urgent tasks that may have come up in the course of the day. Speaking of urgent matters, prioritizing tasks while planning is of the highest importance. Activities may be divided into four broad classes:

  • Important and urgent – these take the highest priority. They must be done and they must be done immediately. For this reason, they take first priority.
  • Not important and urgent – they must not be done, but they are useful and urgent. They take second priority by virtue of their urgency.
  • Important but not urgent – these must be done so one might as well do them immediately after settling all the urgent tasks.
  • Not important and not urgent – they take the last priority. They make up the class of activities that can be cut off should there not be enough time.

2.      Compartmentalizing time

It is important that to divide time into some broad sections. This inspires focus in one’s activities. Time in college can be divided into two sections: personal and academic time.

  • Managing Academic time

Academic work is the main reason one goes to college. Therefore, it is important that it gets all the attention it deserves, and that translates to first priority. Weekly activities should be scheduled around classwork. It, therefore, follows that time for classes, assignments, discussion groups, quizzes, and personal studying should be reserved first.

  • Managing personal time

Apart from classwork, college is about figuring life out and shaping one’s future in multiple ways. The social, personal, and other co-curricular activities take place when away from class. One must prioritize so that while they are putting in all the work they need to, they also have time to relax and grow into an all-around person. Nerds are cool and all, but balance is just the way of nature.

3.      Staying in good health

Sleep is usually the first thing to fall victim to a busy schedule. Most students just cut off sleep time and choose other activities over it. This may be practical, but it is far from healthy. Sleep is essential and the body does not perform at optimum when it has a sleep deficit. It is essential for the health of the mind too. Sleep must, therefore, be incorporated into one’s schedule and while it may be hard to sleep for the recommended eight hours, it is important to get as close to them as possible. Otherwise, the sleep hours forewent in favor of other activities only for one to perform under par. College students should also keep their body in top shape by eating healthy and exercising as much as possible. This ensures that the body has sufficient energy to run on.

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Comment by Leona Hinton on July 22, 2016 at 10:14am

Staying in a good health is probably the most important issue. I like your ideas, Dante, thanks for sharing them here with us.


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