As a self-proclaimed chronic procrastinator, I know all too well how difficult it can be to manage your classes, homework, studying, work, clubs, a social life, and all the other commitments that come with being a college student. It is so tempting to lie in bed and waste our days away and cram all of our work into that final day. However, if you’re anything like me, this can take a huge toll on your mental health. Spending a day in bed causes me to overthink all the work that I’m not getting done or should be doing, so instead of actually relaxing, I usually feel overwhelmed with stress and guilt. Now, I’m no expert in time management, and I certainly still have my days where I fall out of routine, so grant yourself some time to adjust and don’t be too hard on yourself whenever you do fall back into old patterns, it’s normal.
The one thing that keeps me the most organized and helps me manage my time is my planner and calendar. Anyone who knows me well knows that my calendar is color coded and always filled out months in advance. They also know that my planner is my pride and joy and it is rare that I am anywhere without it. These two things help me organize all of my classes, assignments, work schedules, sorority events, and family obligations. Without them, I genuinely think my life would fall apart. I recommend starting off simple, either with maybe a piece of paper or a Word/Google doc where you write down what you need to accomplish throughout your week. Next, compare that to your schedule and block out times for certain assignments. I find that doing this as opposed to only doing assignments at night or on the day they are due makes me feel much more productive and causes much less stress as I can visually see how and when everything will be accomplished.
Additionally, when it comes to time management, always budget in some time for yourself. You don’t want to overwork yourself and end up isolated from the rest of the world, sacrificing your peace for the sake of your course load. Personally, my class schedule is set up so I have Wednesdays off, and on Mondays and Tuesdays I don’t have classes until much later in the day. I work hard on those first two days of the week to clear out a large part of my assignments, and then I am able to spend Wednesdays doing more relaxing and refreshing to get through the rest of the week. I also make sure to allot time to see my friends and ensure that I meet them for lunch or dinner a few times a week because I honestly believe that sometimes the best stress relief is just seeing the people who make you happy.
Overall, it is important that in college, in a time of such stress and change, we each find our own ways to balance our responsibilities with what we enjoy. We all operate differently and perhaps my suggestions may not work for everyone, but remember that balance is key and to avoid procrastination at all costs.