Tips To Manage Your Time
Updated: Apr 6
College life often means a little less guidance, and a little less direction. It could also mean way more responsibilities, especially for students going into part-time work. This could make time management harder for you, and you might find yourself suddenly swamped with commitments.
But not to worry -- we’ve compiled a short list of tips for you to plan your days better, and hopefully give yourself a little more breathing space.
1 // Break Tasks Down into Small Parts
Some modules have weekly quizzes and milestone submissions. Other modules may have only one project due week 13, or a single final examination. It can be tempting to put off the big tasks and think you can rush them at the last minute (and maybe you can). But it’s always better to break those large tasks down into smaller parts you work through, day by day, week by week.
For example, when writing a research paper, it can be broken down into several parts, and set goals for them regularly!
2 // Have a Daily and Weekly Schedule
And always set it ambitiously. It’s perfectly alright to only work through 80% of what you planned to do -- the idea is to push yourself. Also be sure to note down each task that comes your way, because you don’t want to forget anything when scheduling.
In the case where additional extracurricular activities and opportunities were to pop up, don’t be afraid to reschedule and try out something new, if you can afford to spend the time.
3 // Avoid Time Sinks
What constitutes a “time sink” varies from person to person. Time sinks are less-useful activities that take up lots of your time. They are not necessarily useless, but they may be far less beneficial for you than alternative activities.
Social activities are not necessarily time sinks -- socialising is after all very beneficial for your psychological health. However, extremely-frequent use of social media is considered a time sink by some. There are many forms of time sinks and it’s ultimately up to you to find out what yours are.
4 // Get Enough Sleep
“If you sleep less, you get to do more” is a common no-brainer piece of advice, often countered with “If you plan well, you don’t have to sleep less”. But sufficient sleep is in itself the key to productivity.
People who don’t get enough sleep, fare poorly with memory retention, problem-solving, and critical thinking. When sleep deprived, you will either fail to meet your daily goals, or complete them poorly. So, do tuck in and get a good night’s rest :)
5 // Try to Follow your Circadian Rhythm
As previously mentioned, going through your day bleary and tired can tank your productivity, and wreck all your carefully-scheduled plans. However, it’s not just about how much you sleep, but when you do it.
“Never schedule your classes in the morning” is a popular piece of advice about college life. But ultimately, how you schedule your day should depend on your natural circadian clock. Not scheduling classes in the morning may be good advice for night owls, but terrible advice for morning larks.
Try to find out when you are most awake in the day, and plan accordingly. While it is not always possible to decide your entire schedule, you should try to follow your natural rhythm as much as possible.
Good Luck and Stay Motivated!
Ultimately, while tips are useful, getting things done is a matter of discipline and motivation. If you are still having trouble, consider asking yourself what your interests and motivations are.
And if you have any more tips on how to be more productive, do share those in the comments below!