Written by Malaysia McGinnis, '19
You’ve been warned not to leave the 15-page research paper for the night before, or to start your homework two hours before it’s due. Yet, these scenarios often seem like a creative challenge for your procrastination skills, and it can be tempting to test how well you can complete assignments at the last minute, despite a professor’s warning.
Though it may be possible to skate by, time management has the ability to make your life a lot more enjoyable and less stressful.
Below are some helpful time management tips to ensure that you don’t have to skip class, miss assignments and meals, or sleep!
1. Build a schedule and leave time for obstacles (including procrastination)
Create a schedule so you can tackle each task throughout the week to meet deadlines on time, if not early.
Give yourself incentives for finishing work and make sure these incentives are balanced. Do not allow yourself to play six hours of League for completing a small homework assignment.
Try to achieve a good amount of balance. Do not allow one class to take the majority of your time.
Self-care is very important. Rest is needed in order to function properly, and eating the right foods (at the right time) is a part of that equation.
The academic, social, and other demands should added around the “self-care” parts of the schedule.
Many students are caught in the cyclical trap of “I need to work to pay tuition, but if I fail my classes what’s the point in working?” At the end of the day, if you work to pay for school, school must still be the top priority.
It is tempting to take extra hours at work to make extra money, but do not let it interfere with academia; if possible, make your availability clear and upfront to your employer to ensure you won’t be overworked. Typically 10-20 hours per week is reasonable for full-time students. You should work on the lower part of the scale if you have a challenging course schedule.
Know your priorities and only take on what you absolutely have time for. This will also give you the chance to devote a significant amount of time to the things that matter most, instead of only being able to give a little time to a multitude of commitments you’ve made.
In sum, the most important thing to remember when it comes to time management is that it really will make your life easier. Plan out what you can, leave room for mishaps you cannot plan for, and do your best to get through your college career in one piece.