Life can be overwhelming. At any given moment, there are assignments to be completed and events to commit to. At the beginning of every school year, the excitement is so palpable that, if you are like me, you sign up for everything and anything and forget how many hours are in a day.
As we are heading towards the fourth week of classes, that excitement is wearing off. Assignments are piling up, the random clubs you signed up for at Splash are actually meeting and you keep bailing on that one friend who you have yet to see this semester. It’s time to crack down on your schedule and practice some time management.
Here are some of my time management tips that have kept me afloat in past school years:
1. Get a planner and keep it glued to you at all times. In any given week, there will be many assignments, club meetings and scheduling conflicts. You need to write them all down. By week four of the school year, your brain is overwhelmed. Without keeping track of your schedule, you are bound to miss something. Then, everything will spiral out of control. Your planner is where you write down assignments for the week, important test dates, club activities and anything else that keeps you busy during the school year.
2. Give yourself some buffer time for all assignments. We’ve all been there, sitting at our desk at 11:59 p.m. and panicking while trying to hit submit. Assignments sometimes take more time than expected at first, and that’s okay. In an ideal world, assignments would be finished a full day before the deadline, giving you time to relax and get ahead. But sadly, that is not a realistic scenario in any college student’s life. Getting an assignment done a full day early may not happen, but giving yourself a few hours to play with will be a lifesaver. You never know what could happen — maybe your computer dies or you want extra time to add in one more source to that paper. It is important to schedule some time for those unexpected mishaps because you never want to be scrambling at 11:59 p.m.
3. Schedule a catch-up day. Pick your easiest day of the week classes-wise, and dedicate that day to finishing up any loose ends. This is the day when you finish up readings that you may have skipped last week, study for a big exam coming up or simply use that extra time to make an assignment better. Your more relaxed day is there for a reason, so take advantage of it.
4. Dedicate a few hours on the weekend for you. The weeks of classes are busy and stressful. The farther down the line you get into the semester, the easier it will get to forget to take care of yourself. This is a big problem because when you forget about yourself, you may fall behind as well. It is important to dedicate time on the weekends to clean your room, finally wash your sheets or just take yourself out to get your favorite bagel. This time gives your brain a chance to reset and recharge, allowing you to feel energized enough for the upcoming week.
Time management is one of life’s most difficult skills. Your life is busy, and there is always something that needs to be done that will presumably only get harder after graduation. College is the perfect time in your life to figure out how you work best and learn how to manage your time. Try out one of my tips and see what works best for you.