Do you remember that all-nighter you pulled senior year of high school because your essay was due the next morning? Managing your time wisely when taking four or five college classes is no easy task, even when you know that the simple solution is to start earlier.
To help you start your first semester on the right track and put that 4.0 grade point average within reach, follow these nine tips to better time management. In using a daily planner, "students should record the tasks they need to complete on a daily, weekly and monthly basis," says Hope Walton, director of the Academic Skills Center at the University of Richmond in Virginia. Lynne Richardson, dean of the College of Business at the University of Mary Washington, tells students to make sure they pencil in some time to relax when prioritizing their week.
Adding positive reinforcement to your study time will help motivate you to achieve your goals. Your best working style may not be your roommate's best, but learning what works for you and what doesn't is key to success in college.
If you're still learning what study habits work best for you, try getting an early start to your day.
According to Donnelly, for an incoming freshman, "it's easy to lose sight of the big picture because graduation seems so far away." Donnelly advises students "to visualize yourself not only on your graduation day, but also where you want to be in your career. A simple way to improve your time-management skills is to realize what you're currently doing that just isn't working. According to Susan Dennett, academic dean for Northwood University's Florida campus, you should get to know the other learning resources available to you. In both posts, things came up such as using tools like BusyCal or managing time differently by checking email at specified times instead of constantly or adding to-do items in your calendar as appointments so they’re sure to be completed.
There are lots of books and articles written on the topic of time management and getting things done.
Ten Time Management Tips that Work in Entrepreneur has some interesting ideas and so does David Allen’s Getting Things Done.


What works for one person may not work for others, but there are some tried and true time management tips that work for everyone.
After all, I own the business so I can pretty much determine what works and what doesn’t work. Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. Most every student struggles with effective time management, and balancing a heavy class load and social life can be especially tough for those used to the structure of high school classrooms--namely, college freshmen. A successful time-manager will be less stressed, get more sleep and generally feel better about a job well done than those who procrastinate. List your tasks by high and low priority, Walton says, keeping in mind that your focus should be on completing larger projects by their due dates first. For college students, this may mean that a long research essay seems too daunting to begin. If listening to music while you study helps you focus, consider creating a short study playlist.
If you've realized that you produce your best work at night, then accommodate your schedule for later study sessions. Erin Wheeler, an academic support program manager at Louisiana State University, suggests adopting "the professional work schedule of 9 a.m. This can help give you that extra motivation to study for that exam or write that paper." She adds, "Every task accomplished moves you a step closer to the direction of your ultimate vision.
Close your email (or take it offline, which is what I do) and keep your social networks closed for most of the day. This one may not work for everyone because I know lots of people who use their inbox as their filing system. Before you end your day, figure out what tasks you have remaining for the week, review what’s come in that takes priority, and assign the three most important things for the next day.


She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. Better yet, form study groups where you can talk and work through the same assignments with others. By having a to-do list that carries over day after day, you’re adding undue pressure on yourself and creating feelings of being overwhelmed. Check both first thing in the morning, around lunchtime, and again before you shut down for the day. I rarely take meetings on Fridays because those are my days to get things done that have been sitting there all week. Ann Marie Klotz, the dean for campus life at the New York Institute of Technology, advises students to "build weekly traditions. Sharon Donnelly, director of counseling at Delaware Valley College, advises breaking down big assignments into smaller parts or steps. Have a daily task list with no more than three items on it…and get all three things finished that day.
I do most of my writing on Fridays, I get the Spin Sucks guest posts scheduled, I work on business tasks (process creation, new products, new ideas), and I spend some time preparing for the following week.
Then, set aside time in your schedule to work on each part of the outline, as well as time to revise and proofread it." Not only will you feel more successful in having accomplished these small goals, you will also learn what it takes to manage your time most effectively. Of course, I have Inbox Zero for all of an hour or two, but when I start the next day, I have a handful of emails that came in overnight vs.



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