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The Do’s and Don’ts of Time Management 

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Are you a procrastinator? It’s okay, we won’t judge! 

In fact, approximately 80-95% of college students will procrastinate over the course of their academic career. So, if you like to complete your assignments at the last possible moment, you’re not alone. But we all know that it’s a stressful lifestyle. And it can usually result in poor grades and a lower GPA.

If you find that you’re missing deadlines and getting 0’s in the gradebook, it may be time to start practicing your time management. But luckily for you, at Collegeboxes, we have plenty of tips that can help you become a time management master! 

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What is Time Management?

Time management is the practice of organizing your schedule to maximize your productivity. Wondering how time management actually makes a difference in your life? Here’s just a few ways you can benefit: 

  • Reduce stress 
  • Boost focus 
  • Get more done in less time 
  • Never miss an assignment again 
  • Kick procrastination  
  • Achieve goals 
  • Gain confidence 

Obviously, buckling down and practicing true time management can take a lot of discipline, but it’s easier than it looks. Let’s break it down into a few rules:

DO Look at Your Schedule

Before you do anything, look at your schedule and see how much time you’re working with each week. Remember to block out the times you’re at work, in class, or taking part in club activities. If you’re commuting to school, remember to include the time it takes to get to and from school in your planning.

DON’T Multitask

While you might think trying to do two things at once is more efficient, it makes things harder. When you’re splitting time between two or three different assignments, you aren’t fully focusing on any of them. That means that you’ll produce lower quality work, lose track of deadlines, and may even get lower grades.

It’s better to focus on one assignment at a time. This way, you’re dedicating all your attention to one thing. You’ll get higher grades, and even remember more of the information, too!

DO Make a List of Your Priorities

Not every assignment is going to have the same level of urgency, but how do you choose what to tackle first? If you’re having trouble deciding how to prioritize your to-do list, here’s a helpful strategy you can use: 

The Eisenhower Matrix is a strategy used to rank tasks based on importance and urgency. You will break your tasks down into 4 different sections: 

The Eisenhower Matrix

  • Urgent and Important: These tasks have upcoming deadlines or severe consequences for dropping the ball. These should be done first. 
  • Not Urgent but Important: These are tasks that need to get done but you have extra time to complete them, like essays or end of semester projects. Tackle these gradually, and schedule sometimes to work on them before that deadline sneaks up on you. 
  • Not Important but Urgent: These tasks may not be very important, but they need to be handled now. This can include smaller assignments, like discussion board posts. Handle stuff like this after your most urgent and important tasks, but before you start working on your long-term assignments.  
  • Not Important and Not Urgent: These are distractions or otherwise unnecessary tasks. Either remove them from your to-do list or get to it once you get everything else done. 

DON’T Go in Without a Plan 

Even if you block out time to work on your assignments, you won’t get much done if you don’t have a plan. So, have a good idea of what you want to work on per session. If you made a priority list, this should be a good jumping-off point.

DO Learn How to Say No 

As a college student, you’re going to be handling a lot of stuff on your plate. From class, to homework, to jobs, or even clubs and other activities. But all the time management strategies in the world won’t help you if there’s simply too much on your plate.  Be careful not to not overcommit yourself to things, especially if they’re getting in the way of your schoolwork. While you think you can do it all, it feels horrible once you start dropping the ball on things.

Save yourself from the stress and consider your schedule and workload for the week before making other plans.

DON’T Try to Tackle It All at Once

If the thought of writing an essay makes you nervous, break it up into smaller parts! Instead of trying to crank it out all in one sitting, focus on nailing the introduction paragraph first. Taking everything one step at a time will make every assignment seem much more manageable.

DO Avoid Distractions

Breaks are an important part of staying focused, but we all know that it can be a slippery slope. Even though schoolwork isn’t as interesting as your TikTok feed, we need to make sure you don’t accidentally waste half an hour on your FYP. 

Turn off your social media, stay away from the television, and pick a quiet place to work. For the sake of productivity, it’s probably better to stay out of your dorm and go somewhere else to study. Need some ideas? We have plenty

DON’T Forget to Ask for Help 

Universities try their best to set you up for success, but many students don’t realize how many resources they have at their disposal. You can get free tutoring and expansive access to the reading material in the library.  

If you’re the type that likes hands-on help, you can even go to a professor’s office hours. Very few students interact with their professor outside of class. Office hours can be a great way to get some undivided attention and assistance from the person grading your assignments. If it sounds like a cheat code, it basically is!

DO Find Ways to Make Studying Fun

We know that studying isn’t an exciting activity, there are ways to make it more enjoyable. Not everyone has the same idea of fun, so you may have to try a few ideas and see what works for you. Consider things like:

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DON’T Stress

Sometimes, stress can be a motivator, but too much of it can stop you in your tracks. Take some time to practice self-care in order to ease your mind and prevent any meltdowns. Practice some yoga, squeeze in a workout, or just put on a facemask and relax! Remember, even though school is important, it should never be a detriment to your mental health. If you need someone to talk to, consider reaching out to the mental health resources on your campus.

One thing you should never have to worry about is moving to school. And with Collegeboxes, you won’t have to! With our specialized student storage and shipping options, we can protect your items and deliver them to any address around the world—even right to your dorm room.  

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