Top 9 Tips for Establishing College Workload Priorities

Educational Consultant, Research Psychologist, and Writer

  1. Make a list of the tasks and obligations you have to complete within a given timeframe. Go over the list again to make sure you included everything that should be on the list.
  2. Re-evaluate the timeframe you established. Be sure it is both long enough and short enough to include the tasks and obligations.
  3. Develop a coding system, like A-B-C, to determine the relative importance of the tasks to your success in college and life. Example: Finishing the term paper that’s due next week is an A-level priority, whereas figuring out the football team’s home game schedule might be a C-level task.
  4. Develop a coding system like to determine the relative difficulty of the tasks. Physics project? Probably A-level hard. Writing a “how I spent my summer” journal entry for English? Rather C-level easy.
  5. Develop a coding system like to determine the effort involved to complete the tasks or fulfill the obligations. Remember, relatively simple tasks, like uploading pictures, can become time consuming, like if you need to upload and label 200 pictures for a photography assignment.
  6. Create a schedule that includes all the items on your priority list. Put the items on the schedule from the most important to the least important. Estimate when you will start and finish each of the items.
  7. Look at your schedule. Identify the times when you have too many items to complete confidently. Move some of the items to less busy times.
  8. Establish a comfort level with your schedule. Find the places that trouble you. Adjust the schedule to make yourself more comfortable with these trouble points.
  9. Create a backup plan to accomplish the highest priority tasks if your original plan is disrupted.

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