If you attend a university, skillful time management may make the difference between success and failure. It’s not always easy to set aside enough hours for college assignments and complete them before due dates arrive. Many students also have jobs and family obligations. These tips can help learners finish schoolwork on time without neglecting other important responsibilities:
1. Planning for the Future
Don’t just think about the next day or two. Take steps to prepare for due dates and tests in the weeks ahead. Rather than trying to finish a project in one day, it’s much easier to complete a small portion of the task every day for a week. You’ll probably do better work because you won’t need to stay up late at night before a due date. It’s hard to thoroughly proofread a paper when you’re sleepy.
2. Precise Scheduling
A schedule can help you avoid putting off assignments until the last minute. Write down tasks that you need to complete each day, and carefully determine when you’ll do the work. For instance, you could plan to finish your psychology paper in the time between algebra class and your shift at the department store. Various scheduling techniques work well for different people; you might prefer a calendar, notebook, smartphone app or computer program.
- Beware of electronic distractions
- Leave a bit more time than you need
- Remember to bring necessary items
3. Use Course Calendars
When an instructor gives you a course calendar, thoroughly read it and keep it in a safe place. This document tells you when to expect most tests and major due dates. It can help you plan for the long term instead of waiting for a professor to remind you about upcoming assignments. These calendars also come in handy when you miss classes.
4. Sleep and Eat Well
Time management becomes difficult when you don’t have enough energy. Fatigue greatly increases the number of hours it takes to write papers or read books. Even if you’re particularly busy, try to sleep at least seven hours. You can also use time more efficiently when you eat healthy meals. Be sure to consume enough protein; you’ll gain plenty of energy from things like peanut butter, cheese and black beans.
- Some dorms allow slow cookers
- Try not to rely on sugary drinks
- White noise may help you sleep
5. Organize Papers, Files
Many students waste time because they’re always looking for misplaced items. You may sort your papers more efficiently by using a different folder or binder for every subject. Use the same strategy to separate computerized documents and make them easier to find. You can create monthly subfolders for classes with numerous assignments. If you work at a desk, take the time to organize it every week so that clutter doesn’t accumulate.
6. Create a To-Do List
Use a written or computerized list to keep track of short-term commitments. You can include class assignments, appointments and supplies that you need to purchase. Cross off or delete each task as you finish it. Many people find it satisfying to remove completed items from a to-do list. Don’t let a long list overwhelm you; take it one step at a time. Here’s an example:
- Finish reading Chapter 14 for biology
- Buy two notebooks; sale ends on Saturday
- Talk to calculus professor at 2 p.m.
If you make an effort to apply these tips, you’ll earn higher grades and avoid unnecessary stress. This will help you balance work, school and household obligations in ways that lead to lasting success. If you still have difficulty with time management, consider asking teachers or experienced students for advice.