Time management is an excellent skill to master, especially while pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Effectively managing time decreases stress, helps you to better prepare for tests and leads to overall better grades.
Bad time management techniques
• Doing too much at once. Taking too many classes, belonging to too many organizations, trying to complete too many projects, etc. all at once can lead to poor work and performance.
• Procrastinating. Don't wait until the last minute to complete assignments or to study. Putting off doing work can lead to increased stress and poor work.
• Perfectionism. If you waste too much time trying to be perfect on the small things, you'll never complete the big things.
• Giving into peer pressure. Too many distractions, parties, activities with friends, keeps you from doing what needs to get done.
• Disorganization. Disorganization itself leads to poor performance. You need to be able to have neat notes to do well on a test, and you need to be able to find what you need when you need it.
Good time management techniques
- Be organized. Keep your notes, books, folders neatly marked and organized for easy access. Keep a planner, so you can map out due dates and plan sufficient time to work on papers and study for tests.
- Prioritize. Making a priority list of things to do in the order that they need to be done can help to keep you on track and help to relieve stress. As you mark off each item, your stress decreases.
- Avoid procrastination/don't waste time. Organization and priority to-do lists will help you to plan time for all your projects, but make sure you plan ahead and set aside enough time for each project you have to complete. Cramming for exams or writing papers at the last minute, increases anxiety/stress and is likely to result in lower grades and stupid mistakes.
- Find a balance between working hard and having fun. You are on a college campus, and your life should not be all work and no play. You are expected to go out and have a good time in your new environment. Enjoy your freedom, but don't let your grades suffer. Scheduling time for both work and fun will increase your mood while decreasing stress.
- Don't give into peer pressure. You are always going to have friends that aren't doing work while you are. Stick to your schedule. Don't let friends talk you out of completing what you need to get done. Skipping out on work times to hang out with friends can get you off track.
- Pick quiet places to study. Face it-distractions are bad when you are trying to study and do work. Plan to do work in the library or in a study lounge. The less distraction, the better you'll take in the information and the less you'll make mistakes.
- Set goals for yourself. Setting long-term and short-term goals gives your life a purpose and focus.
For more time management techniques, visit Mind Tools: http://www.mindtools.com/page5.html
Resolve Crisis Network: 1-888-7-YOU CAN (1-888-796-8226)
If you need more help with time management, visit the counseling center in Bold Hall, rooms 261 and 259. Call for an appointment: 412-847-2506. One of our counselors will be happy to assist you.