Practical Time Management Strategies for Higher Education Students

Introduction

As a higher education student, you have a lot on your plate. Between classes, assignments, extracurricular activities, and social events, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and like you have no control over your time. However, with some practical time management strategies, you can stay on top of everything and still have time for yourself.

Set Priorities

The first step in time management is to set priorities. Make a list of all the tasks you need to accomplish and rank them in order of importance. This way, you can focus on the essential tasks first, and then move on to the less important ones.

Use a Calendar

A calendar is an essential tool for time management. Use it to keep track of all your classes, assignments, and other commitments. You can use a physical calendar or a digital one like Google Calendar to keep track of everything.

Create a Schedule

Once you have your priorities set and your calendar set up, it’s time to create a schedule. Determine what time of day you are most productive and try to schedule your most important tasks during that time. Remember to schedule breaks and downtime, too. This will help you avoid burnout and recharge your batteries.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions can be a significant drain on your time. Turn off your phone or social media notifications when you’re working on an important task. Try to work in a quiet place, or listen to instrumental music to help you focus.

Learn to Say No

As a busy student, it can be tempting to say yes to every invitation, whether it’s a party or an extracurricular activity. However, learning to say no is an important part of time management. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have, and only say yes to the things that are truly important to you.

Take Care of Yourself

Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly are all important parts of time management. You’ll be more productive and happier if you take care of yourself.

Conclusion

In conclusion, time management is an important skill for higher education students. By setting priorities, using a calendar, creating a schedule, eliminating distractions, learning to say no, and taking care of yourself, you can stay on top of everything and still have time for the things you enjoy.


Practical Examples

✍🏽 How can you manage your time for a 5-page research paper project?

  1. Set a deadline for each stage of the writing process. This will help you stay on track and avoid procrastination. For example, you could set deadlines for:
    • Choosing a topic and brainstorming ideas
    • Conducting research
    • Organizing your research
    • Writing the first draft
    • Revising and editing
    • Proofreading
  2. Break down each stage into smaller tasks. This will make the project seem less daunting and help you stay focused. For example, the stage of conducting research could be broken down into the following tasks:
    • Identifying keywords 
    • Searching for sources 
    • Reading and annotating sources 
    • Taking notes
  3. Estimate how much time each task will take. This will help you create a realistic timeline for completing the paper. Be sure to factor in some extra time for unexpected delays or challenges.
  4. Stick to your schedule. This is the most important step! Once you have created a timeline, be sure to stick to it as much as possible. If you find yourself falling behind, adjust your schedule accordingly.
  5. Take breaks. It is important to take breaks throughout the writing process to avoid burnout. Get up and move around, or take a few minutes to relax and clear your head.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are struggling with any aspect of the writing process, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your instructor, a tutor, or a friend.

Here is a sample timeline for a 5-page research paper that is due in 4 weeks:

  • Week 1: Choose a topic, brainstorm ideas, and conduct preliminary research.
  • Week 2: Continue researching and take notes.
  • Week 3: Organize your research and write the first draft.
  • Week 4: Revise and edit the paper, and proofread it carefully.

This is just a sample timeline, and you may need to adjust it depending on your own circumstances. However, following these general guidelines can help you manage your time effectively and complete your research paper on time.

Here are some additional tips for time management:

  • Find a quiet place to work where you will not be interrupted.
  • Eliminate distractions such as social media and email.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself and break down large tasks into smaller ones.
  • Reward yourself for completing tasks and milestones.

By following these tips, you can learn to manage your time effectively and complete your research paper on time.


🗓️ Here is a sample schedule for a working adult with children who is taking an 8-week course:

☀️ Morning ☀️

  • 6:00 AM – Wake up and get ready for work
  • 6:30 AM – Eat breakfast and pack lunches
  • 7:00 AM – Leave to drop kids off at school and head to work

🕛 Afternoon 🕛

  • 5:00 PM – Arrive home from work
  • 5:30 PM – Help children with homework
  • 6:30 PM – Make dinner
  • 7:00 PM – Eat dinner and spend time with family

🌙 Evening 🌙

  • 9:00 PM – Start working on homework
  • 11:00 PM – Go to bed

This is just a sample schedule, and you may need to adjust it depending on your own circumstances. However, it is important to make time for your college course, even if it means sacrificing some of your free time. 

Here are some additional tips for time management:

  • Set aside specific times each day to work on your course. This will help you stay on track and avoid procrastination.
  • Find a quiet place to work where you will not be interrupted.
  • Take breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout.
  • Reward yourself for completing tasks and milestones.

By following these tips, you can learn to manage your time effectively and complete your college course successfully.

Here are some additional things to consider when creating your schedule:

  • The time of day you are most productive. Some people are morning people, while others are night owls. Try to schedule your most important tasks for the time of day when you are most alert.
  • The amount of time you need to study. Different courses require different amounts of time to study. Be sure to factor this into your schedule.
  • The demands of your job and family. It is important to be realistic about how much time you have available to study. Don’t overcommit yourself.
  • Unexpected events. Things happen, so be prepared to adjust your schedule as needed.

By being flexible and realistic, you can create a schedule that works for you and helps you succeed in your college course.

7 thoughts on “Practical Time Management Strategies for Higher Education Students

  1. Diana Fuentes says:

    Thank you for the sample schedules. Although I am an empty nester, I am a full-time student and grandparent and continue to be an interactive mom with my adult children.

    Reply
  2. PAUL JOHNSON says:

    I use a significant portion of the working adult schedule, by my schedule not being the same weekly, I have to juggle times around, but for the better part, if you can follow the above scheduling I think your studies should not struggle.

    Reply
  3. La'Shae Washington says:

    Setting a strict schedule and sticking to it discipline is very important in trying to accomplish things.

    Reply
  4. Jeffrey Ramey says:

    Setting a schedule is necessary to accomplish tasks, work, and other everyday things that some people might not comprehend. For example Instead of going to “Work”, I have to go to a medical facility three times a week to receive Dialysis treatment. For those that don’t know what dialysis is, It’s a type of procedure that allows a machine to do the work of a kidney or kidneys to clean your blood from excess waste and minerals. Some people produce urine and some do not, I don’t and the machine also removes excess fluid from your body. But Time management is very essential to the whole quality of treatment you have to receive to be active and not sick. Setting a schedule is very important for dialysis treatment/Work for me and keeping up with classwork. Let’s not forget about the occasional Doctor’s appointment. LoL

    Reply
  5. Lashantina Jones says:

    Having a busy schedule it’s not easy between work dropping off kids and squeezing in school
    I have to manage my time set a perfect time to study and do school work even if I’m at work on my lunch time I managed to try to get some work done .

    Reply
  6. Cynthia Ehret says:

    My name is Cynthia. I’m very good at managing my time. It’s been a long time since I have been in school so I stay on top of things just in case I have any problems. So far my schedule pretty much looks like the example one above.

    Reply
  7. Briana Martin says:

    Thank you for having this as part of our watching/reading material. I work full-time and am now goin to school and time management has been a struggle for me. This reading material and videos has helped tremendously, thank you!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *