How to manage your time

The beginning of a new term means the beginning of a new busy schedule. For college students, an overloaded schedule can easily lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, unmotivated and out of time. This is when the importance of time management comes into action.

Anna Heinrich gives suggestions on how to better manage your time in her article 7 Effective Time Management Tips for College Students. She provides a way to get started.

1: “Write down everything.” Make sure to write notes in lectures and record all announcements given in class. Never rely on just a mental note about important dates or tasks. Writing down information will take away the stress of potentially forgetting. Especially if you habitually check your notes each evening.

2: “Use your phone for good.” Instead of allowing your phone to distract you, utilize apps such as canvas or ATracker Time Tracker that will help you to manage your time better.

Cassandra Tongi, a UCC student, shares that her biggest issue with time is her phone. “I would rather sit on my phone for hours instead of doing anything else. I could easily get it all done if I just did it first then went on my phone, but I always go on my phone first and have a hard time putting it down.”

Instructor Melinda Benton, who teaches media and technical writing at UCC, also admits to a phone addiction, especially for checking the news in the morning. “To keep myself from being late to work, I only check the news on my phone while standing up in a cold location in my house. Somehow, that triggers me to remember I should be hurrying.”

For students who easily get distracted by their phones, a simple solution would be to go into the iPhone settings and set downtime for the phone. During downtime, your phone won’t allow you to use it for the length of time you desire. Just be sure to use the downtime to complete your necessary tasks.

3: “Stick to a routine.” Routine for the term reduces stress, according to a study by researchers at Tel Aviv University. The routine will also reduce uncertainty of where and what you are supposed to be accomplishing that can lead to missing or avoiding obligations.

4: “Be healthy.” Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet will provide you with energy to accomplish work. Getting adequate sleep as well can reduce the urge for afternoon naps and keep you more alert throughout the day. Go to bed and get up at the same time to improve your sleep cycle.
5: “Stay Organized.” Being organized with your classes as well as your living space will save you time in multiple scenarios.

6: “Checklists are your friend.” Make a prioritized checklist for the day, week, and month of things that need to be completed. If you are a phone addict, try one of these popular checklist apps: Checklist+, Checklist- Perfect Checklist and Productive- Habit Tracker. This nerdy organizational tool with visualization of what needs to be done can help make sure you get the most important things done.

7: “Find a balance.” At times it is normal to feel overwhelmed especially as a college student. Yet, it is of high importance to recognize when too much is too much and a break is needed. Christan Ivy, a UCC athlete who also holds a full-time job, relates: “My biggest issue is the feeling of being overwhelmed when you have a whole schedule to go through. I feel I pack on too much for myself, but ultimately I still get things done.” Ivy recognizes that being overwhelmed is an adulthood thing. Yet, a feeling as if you’re going to break underneath the stress means steps are needed to manage your life better.

Melissa Abel, a former UCC student, understands the importance of time management. Abel went through the UCC paralegal program in 2011 while working part-time, raising children, and interning at a lawyer’s office. She advises current UCC students to make school their number one priority. “Once you figure out what you want your career to be and you’re going to school, it needs to be your main priority.” She explains how being a mother and having a job is, of course, going to be number one on the list of daily importance, but the school needs to be the main focus. “College students must get their homework done before considering doing anything else. College is meant for the big kids.”