Time management. Wtf is time management? That’s what I would have thought if I saw this article title 4 years ago. I will be the first to admit that I started off college with HORRIBLE time management skills. I probably finished every single assignment minutes before it was due in my first year of college. This is why today I want to share time management tips to help you guys kick butt in college.
Improve time management 97.95% by turning the TV off
I find it kind of funny how the same person that complains about not having enough time to study for their International Trade midterm is usually aware of every little bit of celebrity gossip or has every season of Family Guy on dvd. There is nothing wrong with either but if the tv is affecting your grades or productivity then turn it off!
Of course we all need to watch the news, keep up with sports, have a good laugh over The Office, and to sit on the edge of our seats for the last Sopranos episode, BUT it is not effective time management to do this during exam week. One of my top accomplishments for 2009 is reducing my weekly tv time to about 3 hours a week. Yes I know there are probably people waiting to comment and brag about how they don’t watch any television or that they don’t even own a television. Three hours is my limit and it’s certainly better time management than the 3 hours a day I used to watch.
The take away point here is- reduce your television time for a week and you will see how much more productive you will be. If you start going through withdrawals then I’m sure there’s a help line out there somewhere.
College time management is affected by our friends
I once asked an older friend how they managed to complete 8 years worth of school. Luckily for me this guy was down to Earth and told me straight up- “when you got work to do you need to avoid everyone.” So I of course brought up the benefits of study groups. This person then really opened my eyes because he asked me- “how many times do group study sessions with your friends turn into gossip sessions?”
This advice really hit the spot with me. You could be the most productive 20 year old but if you surround yourself with lazy people then you will eventually become complacent. When I have a mid term exam I pack up my stuff and go to the school library which is usually free of distractions.
Here’s the take home point- effective college time management is virtually impossible if you surround yourself all of the time with procrastinators. Get out and hang out with motivated people. If you don’t want to find a new circle of friends then at least form study groups with complete strangers (or find gym partners or whatever the goal may be) to get things done and manage your time effectively. Nothing wrong with going out on a Friday night, but make sure everything is done before that beer touches your lips and the dancing begins.
Reduce stress to improve time management
Don’t plan to do 6000 things a day. The reason I found myself stressed was not because of a lack of time, it was due to over scheduling. I created stress for myself by accepting and planning too many ambitious goals for one day. Sure we can plan to get a 3.5 GPA but it’s not going to happen if we plan on cramming for all of our exams on the same day. Stress is created when you are unrealistic with your own time management skills and plan too much stuff in to little time.
The take home point for this heading is this- don’t lie to yourself. If you have never in your life studied for 6 hours straight or bench pressed for 2 hours straight, what makes you think that tomorrow will be any different? You need to set realistic goals within reasonable time frames.
I hope that these 3 fundamental time management tips help you kick butt this college semester! Now I turn it over to you guys and ask for your time management tips that you could offer me.