Person stands by project wall in yellow sweatshirt putting Post Its on face

How to Manage Your Time Intentionally as a Student

Staying on top of all your tasks can be tough as a student, but with some planning and organization, you can keep up with your busy schedule with ease.

Managing your time was already difficult, but it just got even more challenging as students transition to online learning and try to stay productive during these strange times. We hope these tips still help get you organized and navigate your new routine! When you first start college, you’re excited to make new friends and meet your professors. However, it’s also crucial to learn how to manage your time. With classes, clubs, friends, part-time work, and more, you’ll need to stay on top of your schedule to keep your grades up and thrive. Not sure how to juggle your commitments and keep up with college? Here are five time management tips to help you make the most of your college career.

Invest in a planner

When it comes to time management for college students, one essential step is to get a planner and schedule your to-dos. This method makes it easy to keep track of everything on your plate, whether it’s writing a paper, going to a symposium, meeting with a professor, or making time for assigned reading. Beyond classes and school activities, you can also use your planner to schedule extracurriculars such as sports games and spending time with friends. To take your organization to the next level, use highlighters to color-code your calendar.

Related: Why Every College Student Should Keep a Planner

Set goals and priorities

To manage your time effectively, it’s crucial to know where your priorities lie. To start, consider both your long- and short-term goals. Maybe you want an A in a particular class or to graduate with honors. Next, consider what priorities you can set in place to achieve these goals. For example, say your long-term objective is to get into a graduate program. Therefore, your priorities may be to study for the graduate record examination (GRE) and ask trusted professors for recommendations.

Identify time wasters

We all procrastinate from time to time. To ensure you’re arranging your schedule wisely, it’s smart to identify your top time wasters. This project management principle is something anyone can learn and benefit from, especially in a school setting. Distractions may include social media, television, your roommates, or other things. To eliminate these time sinks, you may need to put away all digital devices like your laptop and smartphone. If you like to chat with your friends, you may need to schedule your study time in the library or another place where you’re not tempted to hang out or chat.

Related: 5 Good Habits to Help Curb Procrastination in College

Do one task at a time

Do you like to work on more than one project at a time? If so, you could be doing yourself a disservice. According to one study, multitasking significantly lowers performance compared to completing one item at a time. When you switch back and forth, you waste time recalling the rules, details, and steps needed to complete each task. When you have multiple tasks to complete in your planner, don’t start them all at once. Instead, tackle the hardest first and work your way down to the easiest. If you find yourself getting bored or distracted, don’t skip ahead. Instead, take a short break and come back to it later.

Take breaks wisely

You may think hitting the books for hours on end will make you a student of the year. Your attention span, however, can only last so long before it begins to wane. The most productive people take breaks when they experience mental fatigue. According to experts, brief diversions from a task can significantly improve your ability to focus for extended periods. After 50 minutes of hard work, make yourself a cup of tea or go for a short walk. When you come back, you'll feel refreshed, energized, and ready to take on anything.

Related: 4 Interesting Podcasts to Listen to on Your Study Breaks

College comes with a lot of commitments—and they don’t have to overwhelm you. But they can if you're not careful with your time and energy. With the right schedule, a set of goals, and the power of focus, you'll be able to tackle any challenge that comes your way.

Need more studying and time management advice? We have everything you could need to get through college in our Student Life and Test Prep sections.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Alyssa Abel

Alyssa Abel

Alyssa Abel is an education writer who helps students and teachers pursue their passions. Read more of her work on Syllabusy

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Aaliyah

Aaliyah

High School Class of 2022

My mother signed me up for a couple of scholarship contests through CollegeXpress. I was also able to do some research and compare the different schools on my list. I was able to see the graduation rates and different programs that helped me decide on Adelphi University. I will continue looking for some scholarships for my start in September.

Khush

Khush

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress is a multi-maneuver platform that has been helping students in their college applications and scholarship hunt process. For me, CollegeXpress has been a boon. I've been able to find my dream university via CX, and I've also been able to apply to thousands of scholarships through it. All the thanks to CollegeXpress for doing such a great job for free. I express my sincere gratitude to you for doing such a wonderful job. I recommend CollegeXpress without any reservations.

Yuhlani Patterson

Yuhlani Patterson

High School Student

CollegeXpress has helped me find so many scholarships that fit me. They match me to colleges I have specific interest in to make searching for colleges way easier and more efficient. CollegeXpress refers me to schools that have my major of interest and backup schools if I want to change my mind. CollegeXpress also gives out their own scholarships, so you have even more of a chance at gaining multiple scholarships. This website has helped me de-stress from the pressure of not being able to afford college, [of finding] what schools are right for me, and how to find easy access to scholarships that most people never knew existed.

Alexandria

Alexandria

High School Class of 2021

For a long time, I've been searching everywhere to find the perfect website I can get scholarships and information from. Needless to say, I could never find the right one. That was, until I found CollegeXpress. Through my journey of finding the right scholarships for me, I was able to find articles about different things. They've all been helpful, especially in times like this! I was even able to connect with some of my favorite colleges! I love CollegeXpress. Thank you!

Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Miami University

Oxford, OH