Time Management Tips for Students
Time management is a crucial skill for students to master. With classes, homework, extracurricular activities and social lives, it's easy for students to become overwhelmed. Learning how to effectively manage your time can help you stay organized, improve your grades and reduce stress. Whether you're in middle school, high school or college, implementing some basic time management strategies can set you up for success.
Use a Planner
One of the most important things you can do to manage your time is to use a student planner or agenda. Physically writing down all your assignments, tests, activities and other commitments helps you visualize what you need to get done. You can see what's coming up, so you can prepare accordingly. Here are some planner tips:
- Middle school students - A simple daily planner you can carry around works well. Write down what homework and activities you have each day.
- High school students - Use a high school student planner specifically designed to give you the structure you need to manage your commitments. These planners allow you to track classes, assignments, tests and projects. Bring it with you to each class to jot down homework and reminders.
- College students - Opt for a weekly or monthly college edition planner to keep track of major tests, papers and projects. Also your daily planner pages to schedule smaller tasks and appointments. Maintaining both gives you a macro and micro view.
Customize it and make it your own. Color code classes or activities. Highlight important dates and tasks. Track goals and achievements. Decorating your planner makes it fun to use. Here are some tips on how to do it.
Take time each week to look at your planner and plan out the week ahead. Block off chunks of time for completing assignments, studying and other priorities. Pre-schedule time for tasks and activities to ensure they get done. Planning ahead helps you stay on top of school work and prevents last-minute scrambling.
Here are some planning tips:
- Note major assignments and exams coming up and schedule regular work sessions to prepare. Don't wait until the last minute!
- Give yourself more time for difficult subjects or tasks that take longer. Don't underestimate how much time you need.
- Schedule homework time each throughout the week to accommodate your extracurricular schedule . Try to knock it out when you're most fresh and focused.
- Allow buffer time for traffic, printing issues and other delays when calendaring study sessions or appointments.
Organization and time management go hand-in-hand. Keeping your assignments, notes, papers and materials neat and in their place saves major time. Some tips:
- Keep separate folders and binders for each class. Stash homework and readings there until they're due.
- Clean out your backpack, locker and folders regularly so you don't waste time sorting through clutter.
- Store notes, essays and study materials on your laptop, tablet or phone so they're accessible anywhere. Back them up regularly.
- Use colorful sticky notes and tabs to flag important pages. Keep your planner and notebooks orderly.
- Develop a filing system that works for you. File papers and assignments promptly to stay on top.
From social media to texting to YouTube, distractions are endless. Limit distractions while working to boost productivity. Some ideas:
- Silence phone notifications and remove apps that suck up your time.
- Close tabs and browsers not needed for the task at hand. Disable distracting pop ups.
- Study in quiet settings like the library where you can focus. Noise-canceling headphones help too.
- Take social media and gaming breaks after completing work blocks. Schedule leisure activity as a reward.
- If you need background noise, listen to nature sounds or instrumental music. Lyrics can be distracting.
Master Time Management
Start implementing some of these time management strategies today. Developing strong time management discipline takes practice, but it will serve you throughout your student career and into the working world. Use a student planner religiously. Make weekly schedules. Get organized. Limit distractions. With less time wasted and more hours spent productively, you'll find you accomplish more and the stress of school is reduced. Learning how to effectively budget your time as a student helps lay the foundation for success both in academics and life.