time management tips for college students

8 Game-Changing Tips for Managing Your Time

Sometimes, 24 hours doesn’t seem like enough time in your day. Between school, personal commitments, and professional obligations, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the weight of expectations. The best way to avoid feeling burnt out is to become more aware of how you use your time. By practicing effective time management, you can create a healthier balance between school and other priorities.

Below, we’ve outlined our top time management tips for students to avoid burn-out and boost productivity!

Tip #1: Avoid Procrastination

Have you ever taken a break from a task to watch an episode of a show and then, before you knew it, streamed half of the season? Procrastination can be a slippery slope leading to all-out avoidance. When we fall into a cycle of procrastination, we often do not even notice it at first.

It’s important to check in with yourself and honestly consider if there are any tasks or projects that you’re avoiding. It’s also important to not beat yourself up if you catch yourself procrastinating — it happens to everyone, so don’t be ashamed!

By acknowledging that you’ve been procrastinating, you can become proactive instead. One of the best strategies for avoiding procrastination is to break your tasks and projects into smaller goals. This can help you avoid getting overwhelmed, which is why many people procrastinate in the first place! Likewise, shortening your to-do lists makes it less likely that you’ll put off tasks. By not overloading your days, you are more likely to feel motivated and stay productive.

Tip # 2: Prioritize and Organize Your To-Do Lists

Not only should you make your to-do lists as concise as possible — you should also consider which tasks are most important and which are due first. By prioritizing your tasks, you make sure that you spend enough time on the most time-sensitive assignments and projects. Doing so will help you avoid getting burnt out.

We also recommend that you consider organizing your list in a logical order. In other words, do certain tasks relate to one another? If so, clustering these tasks together on your list may help you stay on top of your game!

Tip #3: Be Flexible

It’s easy to get frustrated if you don’t accomplish everything you’d like to in a day. Try to avoid being too hard on yourself for not crossing out every item on that to-do list. By adopting a flexible attitude, you can keep a positive outlook in the face of the unexpected. You will be able to “go with the flow” if assignments are added or due dates are changed.

Flexibility is especially important when you are working on a project or assignment with others. Nowadays, a great deal of colleague collaboration is asynchronous. In other words, colleagues are often working on the same assignment, but in separate places and at separate times. When collaborating, it is important to remain mindful of other people’s time and make compromises as needed.

Tip #4: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

We can often only see the moment we’re living in right now — it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture sometimes. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by all the expectations being thrown your way, try to remember what your main goal is. If you’re struggling to complete a particularly difficult assignment, remind yourself why you are earning your certification or degree in the first place. All the tasks, assignments, and projects along the way will ultimately help you reach that dream.

Tip #5: Cancel Out the Distractions

Completing all our work would be easy if we each lived in our own bubble. But this distraction-free fantasy isn’t reality. There will always be factors in your personal or professional life that threaten to steal your attention away from your academic goals.

But this isn’t to say that you have no control over potential distractions.

There are ways that you can choose to disengage from whatever may divert your attention. For example, if you know that your phone is a major distraction while you’re working, you might want to power it off before beginning an assignment.

Tip #6: Take Control of Your Environment

Another fantastic way to make the most of your time is to choose the right work environment. If you know that you cannot focus on your assignments at home, consider visiting a library or one of Goodwin’s many student-friendly spaces.

Changing your work environment is not the only possibility here. You can also manipulate your environment to suit your personal needs. For example, if you focus better with music playing in the background, make sure to bring headphones to your study space!

Tip #7: Don’t Worry About Being Perfect

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. However, we often hurt ourselves in doing so. Agonizing over perfection isn’t worth your time — remember, perfection doesn’t even exist! And the best way to grow is to compete with yourself. Consider how you can use your mistakes as opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Don’t worry about how your progress in or out of the classroom compares to others. Instead, keep sight of the small and large-scale goals that you are working towards. Fulfilling your goals will be far more rewarding than striving for “perfection”. Furthermore, trying too hard to make an assignment “perfect” will only take away valuable time that could be spent elsewhere.

Tip #8: Celebrate Your Achievements

You’re working hard, so give yourself some credit! Earning your higher education can sometimes be stressful. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge your accomplishments and hard work. Better yet, you should celebrate them!

Consider how you could regularly reward yourself for achieving your goals. For example, if you finish your part of a group project, you might reward yourself with a favorite meal or a hike! Celebrating your achievements is a great way to build some relaxation into your schedule. Aside from helping you remain motivated, having downtime allows you to rest, recuperate, and refocus on the big picture.

Find a Flexible Program that Fits Your Schedule at Goodwin University

At Goodwin, we recognize how hard our students work to balance their education with personal and professional obligations. That’s why we offer full-time, part-time, hybrid, and remote programs of study! This flexibility helps students achieve their career goals on the timetable that’s best suited to them.

Learn more about Goodwin’s flexible programs today!