Students come to college with different expectations for their particular college experience. Some arrive with a clear goal of obtaining a degree in a particular field. Other students simply enjoy learning and experiencing the opportunity to learn in an atmosphere created for that very purpose. Others expect college to be a time to have fun, make new friends, and enjoy life without parental supervision, while some students are parents themselves, work full-time, or have other adult responsibilities and obligations.
Whatever your expectations, the reality is that being able to plan and prioritize activities is an important skill to obtain so that you can complete class assignments and projects on time without denying yourself a social life, recreational activities, or other items that are important to you.
You will find some classes require more time than others. Studies have shown that the recommended “prep time” for every hour spent in class is two to three hours a week. This means taking fifteen credits will require between forty-five to sixty hours a week to attend class and keep up with assignments and studying. This work load is heavier than that of many full-time jobs. In addition to study requirements, extra-curricular activities affect leisure time as well. Both families and jobs also come with additional time constraints.
Time management is a major concern for most of us. For a student, managing time has its own special twists and turns that have to be negotiated. Time management helps you to meet deadlines and be responsible. It helps you fit all the different pieces of your life together and complete class assignments and projects without the added stress of an approaching due date.
There will be times when you have multiple exams or class projects scheduled for the same day. Developing your time management skills by learning a few time management techniques will help you plan for events that you can foresee and cope with those you cannot.
A well organized student will
Determine goals for a given period of time.
Develop a strategy to achieve those goals.
Lay out a timetable for a term or semester.
Develop a weekly timetable.
Develop a daily timetable and “To Do” list.
Utilize time management techniques to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls in time management.
Resources to Improve Your Time Management
There are many techniques you might use to effectively manage your time. These resources introduce a few.
Perhaps the greatest threat to success in online courses
A short list of some time management tools you may find helpful. Many others are available.
Google Calendar – Keep track of upcoming events and deadlines, have reminders sent to your email or cell phone, share your calendars with others (free Gmail account required)
Yahoo Calendar – Keep track of upcoming events and deadlines, have reminders sent to your email or cell phone, share your calendars with others (free Yahoo account required)
MyStudyLife – An app for your phone to help organize your academic activities.
Todoist – A simple, free online task management system
Evernote – Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. (It’s like a big virtual folder to keep clippings in for later reference).