How can I manage time effectively in college?

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Answered by: Caroline, An Expert in the Manage Your Time Well Category
If you are like me or any other college student for that matter, learning how to manage time effectively can be a difficult skill to master.

When you think of a stereotypical college student, you think of someone waking up five minutes before class, rushing to get dressed and ready for the day, and then showing up a few minutes late to class exhausted and stressed... phew!

How nice would it be to not be that student!

Let me share with you 5 tips that have helped me overcome this stereotypical college student phase.

Tip Number 1: Use a Planner

I cannot stress enough how important a planner is. Pick one that is easy to use and has enough space for you to write in. A disorganized planner is almost just as bad as not having one. Once you have your planner, pick one day at the beginning of your week to plan out each day and think about the assignments and activities you are required to complete. Then at the end of each night, take five minutes and finalize or change any plans for the upcoming day. Your days will run so much smoother as you will know what to expect.

Tip Number 2: Plan in study time

It's nice to look at your planner and feel accomplished by having every hour filled with activities. But honestly, free yourself up and plan in time to study and do your homework! If you plan to have study time, the more likely you are to actually study at an appropriate time instead of at 2 in the morning. I promise you this will help you focus more effectively and get better grades!

Tip Number 3: Utilize time in between classes

Even if you have just ten minutes in between your classes, that ten minutes can make a huge difference in the way you perform in class. Look over what you're going to learn that day and have thoughts on the subject material. If you go in to class prepared, you will learn more, understand more, and your test scores will rise.

Tip Number 4: Put down your electronics

So much time is wasted on the phone, i-pod, or computer. If you think about all the time you spend on Instagram or Facebook during the day, it would probably surprise you at how much time you've given up. If you have a twenty minute walk to your next class, don't spend the entire walk looking at your phone. Use that time to refocus from your previous activity and listen to lesson material that you can draw from in class. If you're at lunch, put down your i-pod and take out one of your books and read part of your assigned chapter. You'll be glad you did when it's midnight and you are exhausted.

Tip Number 5: Take the time to refocus

This is probably one of the most important things you can do for your learning and for making the most of your time. After a long, hard day of classes and tests, do not go straight into doing homework and studying. Take an hour or so and workout, do an activity, hangout with a friend, or go get ice cream. When you come back to doing your homework, you will be able to work faster and get so much more done because you've taken the time to take care of yourself physically and mentally.

Alright, these are my five best tips for learning to manage time effectively in college! These have helped me get through some of the toughest college days and nights. Hopefully you will be able to draw some inspiration from them too. Good luck!

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