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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

College is an exciting time that’s full of new experiences, memories, and lots of personal growth. Yet, for many, the newfound freedom that college offers can be a bit overwhelming, especially when it comes to time management. When you don’t have your parents and teachers constantly reminding you of the things you need to do, it can become easy to get distracted and not do the things you know you must, such as attending classes, completing assignments, fulfilling club commitments, and, possibly, working. Time management is fundamental in college and is key to not getting overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of college life. Therefore, today, I’m going to share five ways that you can optimize your time management, so that you’re able to use your time more effectively as a college student. 


The first step in working toward bettering your time management is to create a system that you can use to keep track of the tasks that you need to complete. This doesn’t need to be complicated. Some common examples of ways to keep track of tasks include using a physical daily planner, creating a Google Calendar, or making a list in your notes app or in a Word or Google Document where you can list out your daily tasks. This is essential because listing out all of the tasks that you need to complete in writing will make it clear what needs to get done and will help ensure that you’re more organized, thus lowering the chances of you forgetting to do something that’s required of you. 

2. prioritize

Now that you have listed out all the tasks that you need to complete in a day, the next thing that you want to do is prioritize them. Reorganize your list so that your most important tasks are at the top and the least important ones are at the bottom. Ordering your list like this will help you ensure that you finish the most important tasks first, so that even if you’re unable to complete all of the tasks on your list, you still feel accomplished. Lower-level tasks that you were unable to complete can simply be moved up on your task list for the next day.  

3. make a schedule and stick to it

Once you have established a task list, create a schedule for when you plan on completing your tasks, and try to stick to it! It can get easy to get distracted in college, with events, parties, and hangouts with friends constantly calling your name. However, part of being a responsible college student is making sure that you’re fulfilling your tasks and commitments, alongside having fun. To make a schedule, simply plan out when you plan to complete your tasks, whether it be before your classes, during a break in between classes, or once you’re done with classes for the day. This requires discipline, but it’ll decrease stress and will greatly pay off in the long run. 

4. remove distractions

At this point, it’s well-established that Generation Z has, on average, lower attention spans than previous generations. Oftentimes, working on a project that should only take an hour can easily take closer to two, with distractions like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube constantly at our fingertips. Just like the previous step, this tip requires discipline. If you’re someone who gets easily distracted by your phone, try placing your phone out of reach or in another room. Placing your phone on ‘do not disturb’ is another solution. Showing discipline when it comes to avoiding getting distracted with tasks will benefit you, because the less distracted you are, the sooner you can complete your tasks and have fun.  

5. incorporate time for fun and relaxation

The main purpose of time management is, of course, to make sure that you’re effectively using your time. However, time management is also about using your time wisely so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, which can negatively affect your well-being. Incorporating fun/relaxation time into your busy schedule will help ensure that you have a good balance of both work and fun in your daily routine. This can include setting aside time to go out to lunch with a friend, watching an episode of your favorite Netflix show, or even taking a nap. Setting aside time for your enjoyment can help you get your tasks done, as it’ll help prevent you from feeling swamped with work and, thus, unmotivated to complete them. 

College is an extremely fun and exciting time in our lives, but it can also be super stressful! Implementing these time management tips into your daily routines will allow you to be able to explore, hang out, and party in college, while simultaneously making sure that you’re being responsible and productive.

Tahlia White

UC Berkeley '24

Tahlia is a senior studying Global Studies and Public Policy at UC Berkeley and will be graduating in Spring 2024. She enjoys writing lifestyle articles and about ways in which young women can optimize their college experience. She is interested in beauty, fashion, politics, and history. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, hiking, watching movies, and trying out new restaurants.