Time management is one of those skills that is very hard to learn how to do well. It takes lots of practice and a lot of self discipline. Here are my top 4 ways college students everywhere are slacking in the time management department.
1: Mixing up Your “Have to Do” & your “Want to Do” Lists.
I know we’ve all gotten our wants and needs mixed up when shopping at the mall or going grocery shopping and we always end up spending more money than we like because we bought more of our wants instead of our needs. This can also happen when you’re worrying about what to do in regards of your assignments, parties, meetings, girls nights, movie night, and studying.
How to Fix It: Stay focused on what NEEDS to be done and get that done before you even think about those wants. Make a to-do list but split it into 2 columns, one side is for your need to do and the other is your want to do. Start your day by completing the items on the need side first and after you can reward yourself for finishing your needs by doing something you want! This way you are motivated to get things done.
2: You Aren’t Looking at the Bigger Picture
A lot of people make decisions based on the instant satisfaction they will get from it. Not many people make decisions based on how that will help them in a week, month, year, or decade from now. But you should really be focusing on your future at this point in your life and thinking ahead about the consequences coming from your actions.
Hot to Fix It: Look at your decisions with your end goals, aspirations, and wishes in mind and decide if that want/need lines up with your goals. If it doesn’t, don’t do it. Will going to this party instead of partying really help you out in the future? No. Will binge watching Netflix in bed instead of going to class help you pass the final in 3 months? No. Will bullshitting your easy freshman assignments help you to do your harder assignments your senior year? No.
3: Not Planning Ahead
Many students don’t plan well enough in advance for exams, midterms, finals, projects, and assignments. Many over estimate how much time they have to get something done so they keep pushing assignments and studying off until that assignment is due in 2 hours or that final is tomorrow and they haven’t done anything for it. Don’t be this person.
How to Fix It: Invest in a planner to keep yourself organized and be detail oriented when planning by marking when you should start studying for an exam, when you should start looking for articles for your research paper that’s due, etc. If you write it down in your planner you are more likely to stick to it and get it done!
4: You Aren’t Saying NO Enough
You may find that you’re spreading yourself too thin because you’ve signed up for 6 student orgs at the involvement fair, you’ve joined student council in your resident hall, taking 18 credit hours, have a boyfriend/girlfriend, and your best friends want to hang out on most nights. You cannot do everything, I mean you can, but you can’t do everything to the best of your ability. The more things you do the worse the quality of that thing will be.
How to Fix It: Choose your top 3-5 things to focus all of your energy on so you can preform those things to the best of your ability and be more focused. This will help you stay more organized because you will have less things to worry about and you won’t be spreading yourself too think trying to do everything. Of course you want to be involved but you can always join that other student org next year or go out with your friends tomorrow night.
Learn to say no to going out one night with your girls for a study session at the library. Say no to that one student org you were kind of interested in because you’ve found another that you really love. You cannot worry about hurting people’s feelings because if you spend all your time worrying if other people are happy you won’t make yourself happy. After all, this is YOUR life.
These are my top 4 ways students all over are managing their time wrong. Try to stop these habits as much as possible and as quickly as possible so your grades don’t suffer. Of course there are other ways you could be managing your time wrong such as sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, spending a lot of time studying the wrong way, etc. you just have to take a look at your own schedule and see how you could improve the usage of your time.
What are some ways you’ve noticed you’re spending your time wrong and how did you fix it?