These Three Time Management Tips Will Save You in College

College is hard.  When I was just beginning at the University of Tampa, I never heard anyone talk about how much time and dedication it requires to get good grades in college.  Gone are the days when you could just study fifteen minutes before the test and get an A.  When it comes to college, grades are only partly influenced by your actual “intellectual abilities”.  Instead, it's kind of like a game.  The secret to doing well boils down to three things: organization, time-management and determination.  In this article, I am going to share with you my top three tips for managing your time while in college.

#1).  Print Out Your Syllabi

Like I mentioned earlier, staying organized is extremely important in college.  I could go into a ton of detail about how to get organized, but when it comes to time management, this single “organization” tip will save you.  For every class you have, print out your syllabus.  Keep your syllabus handy with all of your class notes and papers, because you are going to have so many due dates and assignments floating around that you will need it for reference.  When you already have easy access to the syllabus and don’t have to go through a million online steps to find the information, it makes it so much easier to stay on top of your time.  For instance, if I randomly remember an assignment my professor mentioned was upcoming, I can immediately take out my syllabus and look at the due date.  This allows me to plan out my strategy for the assignment so that I don’t miss it or forget about it until 20 minutes before its due.

#2).  Use a Planner in Two-Week Intervals

My planner is my life.  My friends tease me about the fact that I color code my weeks in advance.  At the start of each new week, I sit down with my planner and look at what I have coming up for all of my classes, clubs, events, etc.  This forces me to be aware of how I should alote my time for the week.  I really encourage you to do this with a two week “span” because sometimes what may look like an easy week with a lot of downtime is actually preceding a week that is going to be absolute chaos.  Knowing that, I can better distribute my assignments and workload so that I am not completely overwhelmed.

#3).  Set Small Goals for Yourself

I am a psychology major, and I do a ton of textbook readings.  I am not saying that other majors do not have heavy readings each week, but us psychology folks love to go on and on and on about theory after theory.  In a given week, I may have 60 pages of just reading (not to mention assignments and studying) for one of my four classes.  If I just waited until the night before each class to read through the material, I would never get it done and my grades would suffer.  Instead, I give myself small goals each day.  I might decide to space out that particular reading over four days, making it much more manageable.  For a huge research paper, I may self-impose “due dates” in which I get a paragraph done per week.  Procrastination is truly your enemy in college.  I myself am super guilty of it still, but I have come to realize that the feeling of stress and being overwhelmed because I waited until the last minute is far worse than just doing an hour or two of work per week.  

Your time is money (or grades in college), so don’t let poor management skills be your downfall.  I naturally love to plan things out, but if you don’t, make it fun for yourself.  Buy a cute planner and pens! Use stickers to deck out your calendar!  Do whatever it takes to stay on top of your time and work, because you will truly thank yourself in the end