One of the biggest concerns of college students is how they are going to juggle everything and keep everyone happy. Most people think (sometimes parents included) that college is a time of fun and little stress. Those that have gone to college may remember that studying, keeping up and lack of sleep is far from a walk in the park. There are several issues, events and social interactions that college students are expected to maintain all in limited time. There are many stressors during this time of life and can leave students frustrated as well as exhausted. The worries of balancing academics, sports, friends, family, employment and sleep are worrisome. Managing time is not only a difficult task for college students, but also the general population. Here are some great ways to manage time and still get everything done, or close to it anyway!
Understanding Your Internal Clock
No, we are not talking about your alarm clock that rings two hours too early every morning. Did you even know that you have an internal clock? This can be seen by the difference in people and their sleep habits. Ever noticed that some people regardless of an alarm clock or not wake up 7:00 am on the dot, regardless of what time they went to bed the night before. Others have trouble waking up regardless of the fact that the alarm clock has been screaming for an hour. This is because their internal clock is preset and is different from person to person. So what does this have to do with time management? Understanding when you have the best concentration, feel your best and are the most alert will help you determine the best time to study. Studying is a huge factor and time stealer of college students, so make the most of the session.
If you are an early bird then plan on studying in the morning, at breakfast or shortly there after. If this is your alert time and when you are best able to learn or retain information than make the most of it. On the other hand if you are a night own and are best able to work or understand at dark then study at night. The only concern with studying at night is the fact that you may be tired from a hard days work and have trouble concentrating. Remember the importance of knowing your body to understand when you are at your best, that way you will not spend hours spinning your wheels and not get any studying done.
Having Appropriate Tools
Make sure that you invest in a pocket calendar so that you can manage your time and make sure that you make your appointments as well as engagements. Keeping up with events and upcoming dates is one of the most important aspects of managing time. That way you do not overbook yourself and promise the weekend meal with your family the same time as a banquet or other social engagement.
As far as academics it is important to have the appropriate material, texts and study guides to make the most of your academic time. If you will spend a little extra time and take good notes, keep your material organized then you will not spend half your time looking for your homework! Unorganization is a leading loss of time for everyone on the planet!
Balancing Social VS Academics
Finding time between keeping up with your academic work and your friends is sometimes very strenuous. Everyone wants to go out and eat, spend a day on the lake or watch a movie instead of writing an English essay. It is important to keep your studies up though because it is easy to fail a class. Not only does this cost you or your parents an arm and leg, but it also puts you behind. You came to college to earn a degree in academics not socializing. There is a time and place for everything, but put your college career first. Allot so much time to your friends, sports and other activities in order to avoid running out of time. If something must be skipped make sure that is not your school work. If you miss a test or perform poorly, your grades, scholarship and other financial aid status can suffer, but your friends will forgive you.
As for balancing sports and academics, you have to do just that, balance it. This can be a very trying feat because both can take a great deal of dedication and time. Again remember that you will not be able to continue your sports and be the star of the basketball team if you flunk out. Ever heard of the “no pass no play rule”? It gets excellent athletes all the time, how good are you on the bench?
Rid of Distractions
If you are trying to achieve a goal and there are several distracting factors you probably will not accomplish them. Ridding or removing the distractions is the best way to get your wish list completed in record time. Background music or other slight noise is acceptable during study time, but rap music, loud music or the blasting television needs to be eliminated. You can not study when your friends are having a party or a loud get together in the next room either. Pick a time and place that is quite and free of distractions to study.