Time management skills for college students

Setting up a calendar is one of the best things you can do to improve your time management skills.Time management is important in every endeavor, but that is especially true for college students. For many young people, college will be the first time they have to set and stick to their own schedule. And with other responsibilities like work or family factoring in as well, time management can quickly become overwhelming.

Finding balance

One of the most important aspects of time management is being able to work out a balance between school, outside responsibilities and your personal life.1

You probably don’t want to let your dental assistant training, homework from veterinary technician classes or studies in any other discipline to destroy your personal life. So you’re going to need to find a sweet spot between school, your job and family and socializing.

By practicing and perfecting time management skills, you should be able to put together a schedule that will allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds – a satisfying academic life and an equally fulfilling personal one.

Time management advice

Here are some tips that will help you develop better time management skills:

  • Know yourself.2 By the time you’re in college you should know whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. Plan your classes, schoolwork and social life accordingly.
  • Use a calendar. Chances are that when you were in high school there was a large calendar on your classroom wall that laid out the upcoming lesson plan. In college, that will no longer be the case. So get your own calendar and use it judiciously.
  • Schedule courses in blocks. Many college students make the mistake of scattering their classes throughout the day or week. But for maximum efficiency, it’s better to group them together as much as possible. That will leave you with larger chunks of free time that will be easier to schedule studying, work and fun.
  • Keep a log or diary. Track how long it takes you to complete certain tasks. That way you will have more information at your disposal as you tweak your schedule throughout the semester.
  • Take things one step at a time. As a student, you will often be confronted with large projects. When viewed in whole, they can seem daunting. But if you break each one into pieces, and work on them a little at a time, they will become much easier to manage.

1 Driscoll, Emily, “Balancing Act: Tips for College Students to Best Manage Their Time,” Fox Business, Aug. 28, 2013. http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/08/28/balancing-act-tips-for-college-students-to-best-manage-their-time/
2 Jacobs, Lynn F., Hyman, Jeremy S., “Top 12 Time Management Tips,” U.S. News & World Report, Oct. 14, 2009. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/professors-guide/2009/10/14/top-12-time-management-tips