Student Success Strategy #17: Time Management Part I

The number one difficulty for most college students is learning how to manage their time.  Those coming from the rigidity of a high school schedule find that there is too much time in the day to waste.  They sleep in, skip classes, forget assignments, and procrastinate.

There are many techniques of time management that can help students.

One is simple:  The To-Do List.

1.  Write down everything you need to do.

2.  Break it up into months, weeks, or days, depending on how detailed you get.

3.  Schedule those things that must be done at specific times.

4.  Prioritize everything else.  Do not plan your easiest tasks first.  When you prioritize, consider what is most important.  Consider what needs blocks of time (and schedule them).  Then you will have periods of time that you can work with for those other tasks.

Which ones need your attention first?  What can you fit into those small periods of time between other scheduled events?

Everyone will plan and prioritize a bit differently, but keep in mind that you will probably not get everything done that is on your list.  What can slide until tomorrow?  What doesn’t need to be done at all?  What should you schedule for a future time?

Then use that list and check off those things you have completed.  Carry forward those things you didn’t do.  Either at the end of your day, or at the beginning of your next day, repeat the process.

I recommend keeping each list for at least a week, so you can see any patterns that emerge.  Are you procrastinating on specific types of tasks?  Are you wasting time on unimportant ones?

Ask for help if you need to improve how to use your list.  Start by asking your academic advisor for a referral to the best resource.

Put that on your list and go do it today!

Student Success Strategy #17:  Make a to-do list and work it!


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