Time management is a critical CCR skill. It’s important in high school, but even more so in college when you have to actually make your own decisions on when to study or when to watch a movie with friends. Let me give you an example:
Student: “Can I go hang out with my friends tonight?”
Parent: “Have you done all your homework?”
Student: “I just have to finish up my history paper and study for my AP English exam…”
Parent: “Then you can do your school work instead.”
Hopefully by high school, you’ve already learned the importance of getting all your school assignments done. Maybe your family even has a rule that you have to complete all work before watching tv, playing Xbox or going over to a friend’s. And so far, you’ve done great at turning in assignments on time and making good grades.
But, what happens when you’re on your own? When you don’t have your parents constantly checking to make sure you’ve completed your work? When you have a midterm you really should study for, but you’re roommate is having a bunch of people over to watch Game of Thrones?
Why Effective Time Management Is Essential In College (And Life)
You can create new habits. Utilize apps to track your schedule. Designate a space dedicated to studying. But, none of those will last if you don’t fully understand why time management is important. You have to believe in the importance of time management to make it a priority.
- You only have so much time in a day. 24 hours to be exact. And there’s a lot thrown at you: studying, reading assignments, time to socialize, practices/games for athletes and don’t forget a little time to just relax.
- Less stress! When you don’t procrastinate, you’ll have a lot less of that nagging feeling with projects hanging over your head.
- The more effectively you manage your time, the more free time you realize that you have.
- When you don’t wait until the last minute to start a project, you have more time to re-read and edit, allowing you to score higher.
- Learn to eliminate distractions and focus on the task at hand, and you can accomplish more with less effort and time used.
What To Expect In College
You probably spend 25-30 hours per week in school right now. So taking 12 or 15 hours of classes seems like a dream! But think about this: in high school, most days you spend just an hour or two of homework and studying for all of your classes. In college, you can expect a 1:2 ratio, meaning every hour you spend in a classroom, you can expect at minimum 2 hours of outside work.
With all the “free” time, you have to specify time to study or complete work. Unlike in high school, It’s not scheduled for you. Tutors at University of Wisconsin, Green Bay put it this way: “Some classes take more preparation before class. Others require review after class. For a class in which you discuss and recite, plan to study just before class begins. For a lecture course, plan to study soon after the class ends.”
Time management in college is not just about ensuring your school assignments are done and you have time to study. While on campus, you’ll meet friends that will last your entire life. You’ll get the opportunity to try new activities and discover interests you never knew you had. Effective time management allows you to find the perfect balance of work and play, making the most of university life.
When you do not consciously control time, your old habits will control your time and set limits on your achievements. – University of Wisconsin Tutoring Services
7 Ways To Be More Effective With Your Time
So you’re now convinced that effective time management will be critical to success in college. But what do you do now to help prepare and develop those skills? Here’s 7 helpful tips to take control of your time while you’re still in high school.
- Arrange Your Priorities. Have a fun psych presentation due next week, but a dreaded chem lab tomorrow? Be careful not to just focus on the most interesting or easiest projects first.
- Make A List. This seems like the simplest of tasks, but do it. List out absolutely everything that you need to or should do (don’t forget long-term assignments!). Then number them according to priority. Using a month-at-a-glance calendar also helps with due dates, especially when you have multiple tests, presentations or assignments close to each other.
- Break Up Big Projects. In the majority of your college classes, you’ll have a big final project (a 15+ paper, a 20 minute presentation, etc.). These take time and can’t be put off until the last minute. When you get your syllabus, look ahead to see what major projects are required. Then, break it into smaller tasks you can complete each week.
- Find A Tool To Help. Whether it’s a planner you take with you to each class. A wall calendar. Or an app on your phone. Identify where you’ll keep your list of tasks and make note of important times or dates.
- Get Some Sleep. As easy as it is to stay up ‘til 3 am every night, hanging out with new friends (we’ve all been there…), being able to focus in class the next morning can cut out extra time needed to study. Students need 6 to 8 hours of sleep every day. And that 2 hour nap doesn’t exactly make up for just a few hours of sleep the night before.
- Identify Your Best Study Time And Place. Do you need total silence or enjoy listening to music while you work? Can you write an essay in a public area or need to eliminate distractions? Study in a group or on your own? Use the time in high school to try out new environments and times. Go to a coffee shop. Wake up 30 minutes early to study. See where and when you work best, so when you get on campus you know how to find your study place.
- Do It On Your Own. Let your parents know that you’re really working on your time management skills. Ask them to help keep you accountable, but allow you to take responsibility for your work. Make the decision to finish your history paper and study for your AP english exam before you ask to hang out with friends.
Time Management And CCR Skills With Blueprint
Managing your time in high school, when you have teachers and parents for constant support, is a lot different than doing it on your own in college. Blueprint knows that. Increasing effectiveness of time management for success in college is one skill every Blueprinter learns about and understands. We’ll go over more time management tips and allow you practice scenarios in our signature college prep course. Already a master of time management on your own? We’re certain there’s more CCR skills you can develop to make sure you’re prepared for college – academically, mentally and socially. Learn more about College & Career Readiness at Blueprint!