The college life is accompanied by many competing priorities. There are classes, parties, homework assignments, parties, marathon study sessions, parties, sporting events, and parties. It can often seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Fortunately, with some good time management skills, you can draw just the right balance between academic excellence (or academic mediocrity, if that’s how you roll) and still maintain a great social life during your collegiate years. Here are five tips for getting the most out of each 24-hour day.
- Make Every Second Count
So you’re sitting at your desk in Psych 101 and waiting for class to begin. Why not take a few minutes to study for an upcoming Calculus test or jot down some sentences for the composition that’s due in a few days?
If you’re not seated next to a friend that you’d like to chat with, or a hot guy/gal that you’d like to get to know a little bit better, then the dead space between classes is an excellent time to get caught up on some academic work. Add up the minutes you currently spend twiddling your thumbs while waiting for class to being and you’ll likely find that you can put in more than hour of additional study every week without taking time away from anything else.
Find other “dead space” opportunities that you could use for study as well, such as while you’re waiting for your laundry to dry or while you’re eating lunch at the cafeteria. It’s possible to bite a sandwich and read a book at the same time.
- Avoid Falling Behind
For those classes with professors who are kind enough to tell you everything that’s due (and when it’s due) up front, be sure you allocate enough time to get it all done by the end of the semester. If you have to finish reading a 200-page book by the end of the third week, then set a goal about how many pages you need to read every day and stick with it.
The bottom line: avoid blowing things off or you’ll have to play catch-up later on. That will make your life complicated when you want to do other things.
- The Library Is Your Friend
Maximize the use of your study time by going to the library, where you’ll be far less likely to be distracted. You might think that your dorm room is a quiet place, but it’s only a matter of time before the guys two doors down start a remote-controlled car race in the hallway. You’ll be tempted to join in on the fun and leave your studies aside.
- Work When You Work Best
Are you a morning person? Of course not, you’re in college.
However, if you are by some miracle a morning person, then that’s when you should do you’re studying. On the other hand, if you work better at night, then do you’re studying in the evening.
Simply put, you work more efficiently at the times when you work mind and body prefer to work.
- Down Time
It might seem like the only way to get everything done is to work non-stop and not allow yourself any time for rest. The reality is that if you want to work smarter and get the most out of every day, you’re going to need some down time. With a lack of sleep and added stress, your overall performance will suffer and you won’t make good use of every hour.
Whether you are working towards Washington State’s online mba degree or are pre-med at UCLA, college can be a busy, hectic time. It can also offer some of the best memories of your life. Be sure that you manage your time wisely so that you get everything done and you’re not overwhelmed.