Five tips for better time management


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Most of the time, college students struggle balancing school, work and their social lives. Here are some time management tips that may help make an already hectic schedule feel like lightwork.

Genesis Bolton, Staff Writer

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to complete all the work you need to get done? Do you ever wonder how there are some people who can finish all their tasks and still have time leftover to do other things that they enjoy? The real secret is that everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, but it’s the way certain people use their time that makes it feel like they have extra hours on hand. It all comes down to time management and making sure you are using your time wisely.  


It is so important to have time management skills because it allows us to make sure we are getting things done in time without stressing out, and it improves our work-life balance. You might be wondering “How am I going to get a million tasks done in just 24 hours?” Here are some tips that I believe will help improve your time management skills:  


  1. Creating a plan 

For starters, you need to create a plan. Open a calendar or a planner and begin to write down all the due dates that you have for your assignments/tasks. This way you have a visual of when things need to get done throughout the week.  


  1. Time-limit 

For you to get things done in time, try timing yourself for each task based on how long you think it will take you to finish it. Let’s say you need to work on an essay, and you give yourself an hour to complete it, once that hour is finished, stop what you are doing, and do the next task at hand. This way you are able to spread out your time completing one task.  


  1. Cutting off distractions 

Distractions take up most of your time. If you find yourself constantly looking at your phone, turn it off and place it in a different room so you don’t get distracted every time your phone rings with a notification.  Eliminating these distractions will help you stay more productive and focused.  


  1. Prioritizing Certain Tasks 

There is probably a list of tasks that you need to get done but you aren’t sure which one to start with. We must understand how to divide tasks depending on the importance and urgency of it. Important tasks result in our long-terms goals while urgent tasks need our immediate attention. There are four quadrants of time that Stephen Covey, the author of, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” talks about. He talks on the way in which you can divide your tasks which are the following;    

Urgent and Important: These are tasks that you need to get done right away because it’s running on a time clock. 

Important and Urgent: These are the tasks that you want to keep in mind, but they 

aren’t ones you should be stressing out immediately since they don’t require all your 


Urgent but not important: These tasks are the less critical ones; they are tasks that  

don’t relate to the work you need to get done. For example, picking up an urgent phone call while you are writing an essay. The phone call feels urgent, but it is not important/relevant to the work you need to complete.  

Not Urgent and Not Important: This category is wasteful because the tasks that are not urgent and not important end up draining your energy, leading you to burnout and not able to complete the urgent tasks. 


  1. Learning To Say “NO” 

At times it can be very difficult to say no to certain tasks, but you need to learn to set a limit of how much you can and cannot do. By learning how to say no when you know that the task coming your way is something that can wait, you will become much more productive. Learn how to be comfortable with saying no. It is not always easy, but it is better to say no to things that you know you cannot do than be stressed out because there is too much on your plate.  

Overall, having time management skills is not learned in a day. It is all about continuing to practice these tips to make sure that you are staying productive and on top of things. Whenever you find yourself feeling like your to-do list just continues to grow, make sure to take a step back and breathe. Learn how to take one thing at a time and not overwhelm yourself too much   Understand that you have the same 24 hours as everyone else, but you get to choose how you want to live those next 24 hours.