5 Ways You’re Misusing Your College Time I recall the first time I had the option to select my college courses.
I was so happy to be able to choose where I would study and when I would attend classes. I wasn’t given this kind of freedom in high school, so I was determined to enjoy it to the most.
Unfortunately, my newfound collegiate independence also brought some negative aspects, such as anxiousness when I had to scramble to study for an exam because I put it off.
Since I last visited Twitter, a lot of college students were complaining about how stressed out they were while studying for exams and how there never seemed to be enough time to fit it all in. So I know things are probably quite similar to you.
College is difficult.
Sincerily, there are times when it seems insurmountable.
I became aware of quite a few mistakes I made in regards to time management in college even in the midst of all the bustle that comes with studying and attending classes.
I only began to change my time management practices when I tackled the issues at hand.
At that point, I started receiving more As and had a better handle on managing my time so that I could work without compromising my academic performance.
I’m stating the five ways you’re mismanaging your time in college because I want you to achieve the same level of achievement.
Prepared to learn what they are?
Let’s start now!
1. YOU ARE NOT OUTLINING YOUR SCHEDULE EARLY ENOUGH My current planner has events scheduled well into the following year, if you were to look at it.
I had my entire degree plan planned out when I was a college student, down to the classes I would be taking each semester.
I knew what was going to happen since I had planned everything out.
What I’m observing is that a lot of college students fail to look farther ahead because they are too preoccupied with the challenges they are currently facing.
This often starts a snowball effect where things pile up until the student has a to-do list that is pages and pages long with no practical way to do it all.
Action Step: If you haven’t already, go ahead and write down your schedule for the following month, including meetings, classes, work, study sessions, etc.
2. Your “have to do” list and your “want to do” list can be switched around. Priorities are everything, people.
Your current time commitment sets the tone for how you will devote your time in the future.
Imagine you’ve been in a relationship for six months when all of a sudden you decide you just want to see each other once a week, but you still want to enjoy all the advantages of being together. As the weeks pass, you start to realize that your relationship’s issues are getting worse and worse, and you start to feel like everything is going to crumble.
In reality, time management in college isn’t all that different.
If you routinely miss class and don’t study, you’ll do poorly on examinations and assignments, which will result in poor results.
We all have activities we would prefer do during the day than the supposedly boring tasks on our “must do” list, but the truth is that if we just do the things we want to, we’ll never achieve our objectives.
Instead, we’ll experience momentary pleasure with detrimental long-term effects.
Take out a piece of paper and make two columns on it: Must Do and Want to Do. Put checkboxes next to the minimum number of things you need to get done today. Write down at least two things you wish to do right now. Make this a visual reminder that you must finish the tasks in the “must” column before you can move on to the items in your “want” column. It’s like a little incentive system!
3. There is no backup system in place. Technology has fundamentally altered the way we manage our time, but despite all the nice features and tools at our disposal, individuals are still terrible at finishing tasks on time.
To at least carry a written schedule with you at all times is something I advise all of my students to do.
I myself use a planner and always have one with me, excluding days when I truly don’t have anything on my “must” list to get done. So I just attach them on my nightstand with sticky notes.
Even though this written plan won’t ding at you ten minutes before class to prompt you to start walking across campus, it will help you visualize your to-do list and put it in your own words.
Even just outlining your schedule in writing might be a useful tool.
In fact, it works considerably better at aiding memory than typing on a computer does!
Additionally, phones have been known to malfunction and run out of battery, so having extras on hand is never a bad idea!
Action Step: Start using a backup system to manage your schedule. Think about getting a planner (and using it), printing a calendar, or creating your own system!
4. YOU DON’T TELL PEOPLE “NO” Saying “no” to your friends when you have a significant assignment due at the end of the semester that you need to start working on requires a lot of self-control.
I can work on this later, you could be saying to yourself. A single evening out won’t harm.
But then you start using that justification once more. once more. once more.
You eventually reach a point when you are so worried and overburdened that you pull all-nighters and neglect your self-care routines simply to get some work done.
Naturally, you won’t do your best, and you might not obtain the grade you were hoping for.
And to think that the root of it all was a refusal to say “no.”
I don’t want you to entirely give up your social life, but I also don’t want you to ignore the work you need to accomplish for school.
Finding that balance is key, which is why making the aforementioned “must” and “want” lists is crucial. You might possibly promise yourself that you can go out with your pals after working on the project for at least 45 minutes.
Make a pact with yourself that you must work for at least 30-45 minutes before engaging in any exciting activities the next time you are torn between schoolwork and a more appealing pastime. If your friends join you and finish part of their own work, you gain bonus points!
5. YOU AREN’T VIEWING THE BIGGER PICTURE In the society we live in, quick gratification is everything.
By checking our smartphones, we can access an infinite quantity of information and entertainment in addition to getting updates on 100 of our friends in only five minutes.
Even if all of these small pleasures provide some respite from our hectic schedules, they might easily replace the bigger objectives we are striving for.
All college students have the same clear objective: to graduate.
You undoubtedly have a few more goals that you are attempting to achieve, such as finding employment three months after graduation, living on your own, or having an honors designation appear on your diploma.
Because you haven’t yet experienced the consequences of finals stress or the pressure that comes with receiving a higher education, it’s simple to think about these goals when you first start college. However, it’s all too typical to lose sight of them once you get sucked into the action.
At this point, it is simple for a college student to lapse into poor time management.
It’s challenging to view the greater picture when you don’t have a reminder of your bigger objectives.
Action Step: Make a desktop or phone wallpaper or dream board to serve as a visual reminder of your bigger objectives. You wouldn’t believe how much drive you can get from that small reminder!
ACCESS THE FACT THAT IT WON’T BE PERFECT RIGHT AWAY Between undergrad and graduate school, I attended college for six years, so I can speak from personal experience when I say that being time-wise does not often come naturally or overnight.
To be good at it, just like anything else, you have to practice. To notice changes, you must continuously put things into practice.
What if you make a mistake one day? Carry on. Keep in mind the reason you set out on this adventure.
Please share in the comments below what your biggest time management challenges are!