College is often a very fun time in life, but it can also be demanding and stressful. As a college student, you have to balance classes, studying, and writing papers with extracurricular activities, a social life, and part-time jobs. Unlike high school, you don't necessarily have a lot of structure or your parents' guidance, so it's up to you to create effective time management skills for yourself. Here are five ways to take control of your schedule and manage your time effectively while in college:
Diligently Use a Planner
Keeping all of your assignments, scheduled study groups, activities, etc. in a day planner will help you stay organized and on top of your schedule. You can use an online planner, or write things down in an old-fashioned one you keep with you. One effective strategy is to add upcoming assignments, events, and tasks to your calendar, while also keeping a daily and weekly to-do list.
At the start of every day scan your planner to see what's on deck for the day as well as the rest of the week. It can be tempting to bury your head in the sand when you feel overwhelmed, but by knowing exactly what you need to take care of you can unbury yourself more quickly than you might think.
Use Productivity Apps
You already use technology all day for fun, so why not also harness it to be more productive and diligent in your schoolwork? Productivity apps like the ones on this list can help you take better notes, keep organized to-do lists, keep track of upcoming tests and assignments, and generally stay focused and organized.
You don't need to use every productivity app that's out there, of course. Instead, pick two or three that address your specific needs. For example, if you find yourself overwhelmed by how much studying you have to do, instead of procrastinating use a timer app. Set it for increments of 45 minutes, and allow yourself a fifteen minute break at the end as a reward.
Schedule Classes in Blocks
Instead of registering for classes that are scattered throughout the day, all week long, try scheduling them in back-to-back blocks. This will keep you more productive and focused and free up other big blocks of time for studying.
If you have hours in between classes on a regular basis, it can be way too tempting to go back to your dorm and play video games or take a nap instead of attending your next class. Once you make it to your first class, it's easier to keep going because you are now in "school mode."
Hire a Professional Essay Writing Service
There may be times when despite your best efforts, you are unable to get your paper written in time. Rather than miss the assignment and risk your grade, you may wish to occasionally use a professional essay writing service, such as Graduate Essay Writers. These services are in business to help college students who find themselves in a bind and unable to complete their essays and papers by the due date.
While being productive is great, it's also important to schedule in some leisure time in order to avoid burnout. Many students find they are actually more productive overall when they find time to get plenty of sleep, exercise, and simply relax with friends or the occasional TV binge. Scheduling this time into your calendar, instead of just taking breaks whenever you feel like it, will help keep you on track.
By following these tips you should be able to more smoothly navigate the hectic life of a busy college student.