10 Time Management Tips from a College Athlete

Have you ever wondered how student athletes balance their classes, sports and jobs? Well the truth is, we wonder that too. However, we’ve learned tips along the way that help us be successful, even at a rigorous college like Agnes Scott. Use these tips to balance your busy life and get into a routine that can help you hit this college thing out of the park.

  1. 1. Use Google Calendar

    This one seems simple, but it really does make a difference. This allows you to have your schedule with you all the time no matter where you are. You can use this to block off periods of time that are “work hours,” so you know not to schedule anything during this time. “Just not having time” is a thing of the past!

  2. 2. Make Your Own Study Hall

    Every week, athletes at Agnes are required to complete four hours of study hall. For first years and everyone who likes the structure, this means for two of these hours we are put in a room, our phones are put up front, and a graduate assistant is there to make sure we are quiet and do our work. Sounds fun, right? Now, I’m not saying that you need to find someone to lock you in a room and take your phone, but you can replicate your own study hall. Throughout the week, designate times where you go to a specific place other than your dorm, turn your phone on “Do Not Disturb,” and don’t stop studying until your time is up. Put this study hall in your calendar and stick to it!

  3. 3. Don't Overload Your Schedule

    That new club that everyone is raving about sounds great, but make sure you have a schedule that isn’t overwhelming. Trust me when I say that extra club to put on your resume isn’t worth burnout. If you look at your Google calendar and see a rainbow of events but no time to wind down, you’ll only be able to keep up for so long.

  4. 4. Build in Down Time

    When you’re constantly working and studying, it can be hard to remember to give your mind and body a time to rest. On the other hand, how many times has one study break turned into the third season of that Netflix show you’ve wanted to watch? If you build time into your schedule just for things you like to do, you’ll get your wind down time but not let it turn into an entire binge.

  5. 5. Get Your Classes Done Early

    Not a lot of people like having to get up early, but it might make you feel more productive throughout your day. Your days will feel a lot longer and it will give you more opportunities to get what you need to do early so you can spend the rest of the day doing what you want to do.

  6. 6. Get a Study Buddy

    This doesn’t always mean your best friend, sadly. You need to find someone who is accountable when it comes to showing up to study sessions, motivated to succeed, and matches your study style. You don’t want someone who is going to distract you and keep you from getting what you need done. Finding a matching study style is incredibly important because while reading out loud or teaching someone else might work for you, your study partner might like to sit in silence and enjoy your company.

  7. 7. Break Up Your Time with Healthy Snacks

    You’ll burn out fast if you study the exact same thing for too long. Plus, your brain generally only remembers the first and last thing you look at. Knowing this, break up your study time into small chunks so you can optimize your time. Switching between different topics can make you less bored with a single thing and keep your mind from wandering off. If you’re like me, I love to eat while studying, but I didn’t always choose the healthiest options. Now that I’ve realized this, I’ve switched to snacking on things like nuts, seeds, fruit, and other small health foods that satisfy my cravings, but doesn’t lead to a sugar crash.

  8. 8. Get Your Workout Done, No Matter How Busy You Are

    It’s easy to let yourself fall into the “I’ll just work out tomorrow” habit. A healthy mind needs a healthy body, so make this a priority in your schedule. For some people, working out in the morning wakes them up and helps them feel more energized throughout the day. For others, working out at night helps them wear themselves out for a restful sleep. On an especially busy day, even walking around campus for ten minutes is better than nothing.

  9. 9. Make Every Day a Productive Day

    I know when Saturday rolls around after a long week of work, you just want to lay in bed and watch Netflix all day. Giving your mind a day off is super important for your mental health, however, you can do small things that will help you when another busy week rolls around. Doing one load of laundry is one less you need to do when things get busy. Writing just one sentence of that big paper, is one sentence you won’t have to write later. Watching that one TedTalk on growing professionally will inspire you when you need it. Don’t let a day just roll by, make the most of it!

  10. 10. Prioritize Your Assignments

    This one seems like a no brainer but it will truly help you manage your study time better. It’s easy to want to finish easy assignments that are due next week. But imagine how much better doing those assignments would feel if you finished that important paper with the deadline that’s coming up fast. Rather than pulling an all nighter the day before it’s due, you’ll be able to do a few short assignments before getting that full night’s sleep your body needs. That sounds like a better deal, right?