College students have many responsibilities to juggle. Between completing projects and essays for their courses, finding time for self-care, and possibly working a part-time or full-time job, some college students may feel like that time gets away from them.
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Keep a Daily Planner
It isn’t advised to try to remember all the due dates for class papers, when you have to pay specific bills, and what errands you have to run each day in an upcoming week. On Sunday night, take about a half hour to review your college and personal schedule for the week and write it all down in a daily planner.
Note what’s due in college each day, what time you have a specific appointment, and if you have to stop by a store to pick up something that day. If you want to be more thoroughly organized, keep separate daily planners: one for college assignment tracking and another for personal endeavors.
Focus on One Task At a Time
Multitasking, even despite popular belief, just does not work. Your brain can only focus on one task at a time. While you may want to binge your favorite Netflix show while writing an essay for your Macroeconomics class, it will do more harm than good to your productivity with the essay, especially if you get to a great part of the show.
When it’s time to do your college work at home, have some soft classical music playing in the background to calm and motivate you while working. Focus on one assignment at a time and see it through to completion before moving on to the next one. Take small breaks in between so that you do not suffer from burnout.
Split a Large Project Into Smaller Tasks
A large project, such as an essay, should be divided into multiple stages so that you do not get overwhelmed. Usually, college students get into a habit of procrastination and attempt to write a five to 10-page essay in one or two days, which can cause stress and lack of sleep.
Split up an essay over a three to five-day period by taking these steps with small breaks in between as you make progress:
- Find all the sources of your essay.
- Outline the essay showing what content will be discussed in each section.
- Write half of the essay (rough draft).
- Write the other half of the essay (rough draft).
- Check the spelling and grammar on Google Docs and Grammarly.
- Read through your essay from top to bottom and make any edits for clarity and precision.
Work First, Fun Second
While it can be tempting to go out right after your classes or work shift are done for the day, buckle down and get your homework done first before you have fun. Sure, it sounds like what your parents used to say when you were younger, but it still works as a college student.
If you get all your homework done first and then take the time to relax at home or go out with friends later that evening, then you will have more fun with what you are doing. Hence, you will not be thinking about the unfinished work you have to do.
Once you start practicing these healthy habits, you will eventually build better time management skills. Even if your to-do list is long, take it one task at a time, and your workload will lighten.