College students must develop time management skills in order to balance the demands of class, homework, social activities and part-time jobs. While high schools have highly regimented environments, colleges give their students more leeway when coordinating their classes and other activities. A carefully planned schedule will enable you to handle your commitments and accomplish your academic objectives.
The first step is to establish your objectives and record them in your mobile device or day planner. There are numerous scheduling programs specifically designed for college students. Record your academic responsibilities before other activities. Read the syllabi for all your classes, and enter the dates for the exams. Ensure that you make a note when assignments are due for each class. From this plan, develop a series of weekly schedules, which you can use to create your daily agenda.
Work backwards from the dates to determine milestones that you must accomplish along the way. You can schedule e-mail reminders to alert you of approaching deadlines. Most students need to study two hours for each hour spent in class. Remember to schedule extra time to prepare for upcoming exams. This will help you avoid all-night study sessions. Evaluate the amount of time that you will need for reading assignments, such as novels and other books. Listening to the materials will enable you to complete the assignments while exercising, preparing a meal or performing other activities.
Record class times, work schedule and the periods during the day when you eat, sleep and perform other essential daily activities. You should also identify non-class activities, such as commuting, social activities and workout times. Time management consultants recommend segmenting schedules into half-hour increments. If you determine that there is any downtime on your schedule, you can use these periods for additional study sessions and extracurricular activities. This technique may reveal that your schedule is overloaded. If this occurs, evaluate your entire schedule to identify commitments that interfere with your studies, such as extraneous classes, a part-time job and extracurricular activities. This may require that you rearrange your course load or reduce your hours.
Loud music, social media, text messages and frequent visitors can make it difficult to study. If you cannot study at home, go to the library or another quiet location. Ask your friends and family to help you concentrate on your studies. Avoid checking your messages, surfing the Internet and watching television during your study time.
Review your weekly schedule each weekend and make the necessary adjustments to your daily schedule. Check off each item as you accomplish it. Always carry a textbook, course notes or outside reading material. If you have free time, you can use it to read ahead or cover study material. A strategic plan provides the framework for objectives and the direction that you need to avoid procrastination. It also enables you determine the milestones that you must accomplish to complete your assignments.