You have two group projects due this week, four 6 hour shifts serving people that are rude, you haven’t had groceries for three days, and have gotten six hours of sleep the last five nights. And your friends are all getting together this weekend. And don’t forget about seeing your advisor on Thursday afternoon before your workplace get-together. But first, you need to go to Walgreens to get some aspirin for your growing headache.
If you’re a college student, you’re either very good at managing your time, or very bad at it. Just because you get all of the things done, it doesn’t mean you’re good at managing your time. Chances are, you could benefit from a few tips on time management:
PRIORITIZE YOUR NEED-TO-DOS OVER YOUR SHOULD-DOS.
The two group projects that other people depend on you for a grade are a need-to-do. The list of returns you need to make in the next 60 days are a should-do. Write down all the things you have going on, all the things you need to do, and choose which are most necessary. It might help to think in terms of which items have negative consequences.
WRITE DOWN YOUR SCHEDULE. ALL OF IT.
Really. From the moment you wake up to the minute you go to bed. Block out your schedule in hour chunks. Account for class, work, driving places, meals, working out, devotions, etc. See where you spend your time. See where you waste your time. Purposely block out time to do homework and other need-to-dos. The blank spaces in your schedule should be used for all the should-dos.
PULL OUT YOUR PHONE. CHECK SCREEN TIME. PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY.
Yyyyeah. Numbers don’t lie. You did spend 1 hour and 32 minutes on Instagram today. And 54 minutes on Snapchat. That’s over two hours you could have spent studying for your upcoming exams. Don’t dwell on that. Just try to decrease those numbers tomorrow.
Yay! You’re finally caught up on homework and have an hour to yourself. Spend twenty of those minutes working on something coming up, and the rest of the time doing whatever you want. This makes a difference. Twenty minutes a few times per week adds up.
It’s hard. We’re all busy in different ways. But hopefully if you practice these four things and find what works for you, you will find that time management is your friend and not your enemy. Just remember this: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)