The Ultimate Guide to Improve Your Time Management Skills in College


No matter what your schedule looks like, time management is an effective skill that every college student must have to succeed.

In between classes, social events, jobs, and extracurricular activities, many students have difficulty juggling all of their commitments. If you are one of these students, you are not alone.

According to a study done by Georgetown University, about 40 percent of students who are aged between 16-29 and 76 percent of students between 30-54 years old also work while they are in school. As you can imagine, students have many different priorities or commitments, which can cause them to forget to do a homework assignment or rush through a project.

By improving your time management skills, you will have a much more enjoyable college experience as time management will give you the opportunity to participate in any activity that interests you.

Here are 5 time management tips for every college student:

1. Build a routine

Personal routine written in notebook

Forming a routine is essential for all college students. It is imperative that you set a schedule on when to work on homework and study for each class during the day.

By following this schedule, you will find that you will be more successful in your classes.

As the semester progresses, you can adjust it as you go depending on the timing of your other activities and commitments.

2. Write everything down

Student writing inside of a journal

While you’re sitting in class counting down the minutes until it ends, the teacher makes an announcement about future assignments. As you walk out of the class you make a mental note that you have homework due Tuesday and an exam on Friday.

How often does that happen to you, only for you to forget about these assignments till the night before your homework is due? Save yourself the late-night panic and get into the habit of writing everything down.

At the beginning of the semester, go through calendars and syllabi and write down important dates in your planner or calendar. This will keep you prepared over the course of the semester and ensure that you are prepared in advance for major tests and assignments.

3. Stay organized

Colorful organized shelf

Keeping your schoolwork organized and separated can save huge amounts of time for you throughout your week. This will prevent you from confusing material between your classes.

Separating your notebooks, folders, and binders for each class will allow you to keep track of important notes and handouts. This will keep you organized and make it hard for you to lose these notes and handouts. For example, having your notes all in one place will make it easier for you to find material to study for your test.

You must also organize your computer’s desktop. You should have a designated folder for each of your classes. This folder will contain every file that contains material related to that class. This will allow you to easily reference any coursework for each of your classes.

4. Be healthy

Male college student jogging around campus for exercise

This might be the tip that you take for granted, but eating well and getting some exercise often is especially important in college. This combination of an abundance of junk food and newfound freedom to eat whatever you want creates a dangerous situation. By not watching what you eat, you will quickly find that you have gained the famous freshman fifteen. Instead, if you eat well and consume the right nutrients, you will find that you will feel better and perform at a higher level in your classes. Ultimately, as your body functions at a higher level, you will find that your time management skills will improve too.

Besides eating well, you can also achieve this high performance in the classroom through regular exercise. Exercise is extremely important since it serves as a break during the day from constant sitting when you are studying or in class. It will also keep your mind better engaged and boost your energy levels.

Finally, make sure that you get adequate sleep each night. Lack of sleep can disrupt your schedule and prevent you from developing a routine, which can lead to procrastination. For this reason, lack of sleep will hinder your ability to manage your time. Getting enough sleep each night will prevent you from taking naps each day that take away from valuable study time. Additionally, 8 hours of sleep can reduce stress levels and increase your alertness during the day, which will improve your attentiveness in class.

5. Find a balance

Person standing on top of a balance board at the beach

At different times during the semester, you will find that you have piles and piles of schoolwork that you must complete. Additionally, you will find that your extracurricular commitments are taking up more and more of your time. You might feel stressed and overwhelmed in this situation.

However, it is imperative that you step back and take a deep breath. Recognize that it’s okay to be overwhelmed. Analyze your situation and determine if there is a way for you to fix your schedule. You could do this by dropping a class or quitting one of your extracurricular commitments. Your emotional, physical, and psychological well-being is much more important than that one class or extracurricular commitment if you are overwhelmed. It is important that you find the right balance for you. This will lead you to happiness and success.

Implementing time management tips for college students

Each of these tips will help you improve your time management skills. Remember that it is important to implement these tips slowly as they may feel unnatural in the beginning. However, as time passes, you will find yourself more and more accustomed to these tips. It is important that you recognize that great time management skills will help you maximize your college experience.