Unfortunately, I continue to meet students (which include hard-working and smart ones) who have been forced to drop out of college. They have one thing in common – they wished they had mastered time management skills before going to college!

These are just a few of many activities that fill a high school student’s day…

  • Keeping up with classes

  • Maintaining grades

  • Applying for college

  • Submitting scholarship forms

  • Taking part in extracurricular activities

  • Hanging out with friends

  • Keeping up with family demands

  • Completing chores… and more!

Reduce stress and actually enjoy college

Students, it might feel like you are caught up in a whirlwind, but it’s nothing compared to college life – and it’s a more rigorous lifestyle you are about to experience! One of the most underestimated, valuable skills you can master – as well as practice now – is time management.

Yourdictionary.com defines it as…

Effectively using the minutes, hours and days available to you in order to best accomplish your goals in the most effective way.

I have found that when you practice and master time management skills, you accomplish more in less time, maintain grades, and reduce stress. This frees you up to enjoy life and explore countless opportunities college life offers.

Tips for time management

The good news is time management and organization are learned behaviors. With practice and guidance, you can develop healthy, life-long time management skills that will serve you well throughout your entire life. It’s the thing that will help you stay on track, fulfill your dreams, earn favors, and score you promotions.

Start by putting these time management tips into practice:

ONE – Keep a calendar. Insert all your activities (home, school, social) and deadlines into your calendar. If you decide to use your phone make sure you set up timely alerts. If you are a kinesthetic or visual learner try a planner – carry it everywhere you go. Additionally, visual learners would benefit from displaying a wall calendar. You must use your handwriting and color-coding system for it to work.

TWO – Prioritize. Having a working calendar that provides you with a list of things you need to do is just the beginning. Most students enter their information and then fail to use it effectively. You need to learn how to organize and prioritize your list of activities.

  • In the morning (it has to be the first thing you do) look at your calendar and create a to-do list on a separate piece of paper (visual learners) or in your notes app.

  • Determine the importance of each activity and label them accordingly using a scale of 1-10.

  • Add the amount of time it will take to accomplish each of them.

  • Keep the list with you. When you’re done with each activity note the amount it took.

THREE – Evaluate.

  • Learn how to evaluate if the amount of time you are allotting to each activity is realistic. If not change it.

  • Find time wasters and work on avoiding them.

FOUR – Use proven techniques to save time. I use each of the following techniques as well as trained my staff to do the same. Be patient with yourself. Old habits like to stay around. New skills can take up to 90 days to become habits.

  • One task at a time. Studies have shown that multitasking decreases productivity dramatically and drains creativity.

  • Pomodoro: Set a timer. In this method, you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break before going again. Avoid all distractions.

  • Eat the Frog: Get some big, uncomfortable, difficult tasks done and out of the way first. This frees up the brain and increases energy and motivation to tackle the rest of the list more efficiently and effectively. Otherwise, you will keep doing the little things that are less important to avoid the thing you don’t want to do. This adds stress to your brain and body.

FIVE – Break it down: I am sure your long list of to-do feels over-whelming. Get in a habit of breaking it down into small manageable steps, each with its own separate due dates. Projects and class assignments fall into this category.

SIX – Learn how your brain works. Your brain is designed to learn and retain a certain way. Knowing your learning style and using your style’s learning technique will save you time, reduce stress, and increase learning.

SEVEN – Find and create. Find and create the environment that works best for you.

Treat time management learning as a class! Don’t be afraid to ask those adults who manage their time well to help you develop good time management skills and hold you accountable while you are learning. You can do it!

Contact us today to discover your learning style and environmental preferences so you develop time management skills that are unique to you.