Time Management for Busy Students – Tips for Balancing School, Work, Home Obligations and Free Time24 July 2014
For busy students, time management is essential to maintaining a manageable workload and…your sanity. Lets be honest, many students are balancing school, part-time or full-time work, family (which can sometimes include children) and still attempting to have a social life of some sort. So, how can a busy student do it all? At Pioneer Pacific, we know our students are busy people juggling all these obligations and more. We’ve put together a list of some of the most effective time management strategies for students to help maintain grades, relationships and your sanity!
- Use a planner: Whether it’s on your phone or a physical planner, it’s important to keep everything organized in one place. This can help prevent unexpected deadlines and missed appointments and can also help you keep track of free time. It’s not enough to just have a planner either. An empty planner does absolutely zero good, so get in the habit of writing in it.
- Have a plan: Keep track of when you’re working, your appointments, classes and other obligations. Then, plan other activities like studying, errands and relaxing in the open spaces. This allows you to plan ahead and make sure everything is still getting done. Working backwards can sometimes be the best way to plan, especially for large school projects. Work from the deadline back for big papers to allow time for research, writing and revisions. This can be implemented with any number of large tasks, like oh so fun taxes that occur annually and can sometimes interrupt normal everyday tasks.
- Plan in flex-time: Of course, plans don’t always go exactly as you may like, so be flexible when possible and plan in a bit of “give” into your schedule in case something unexpected comes up. You don’t want to be thrown for a loop by an extra assignment, meeting or social event.
- Make time for you: Whether it be a dinner with friends, time to head to the gym or just a nap, planning time to take care of yourself is vitally important. Stress is hard on your mind and body so taking time to take care of yourself can not only re-boot your body but can give you renewed vigor and enthusiasm in every facet of your daily life.
- Keep track of progress and reward yourself: Did you finish a big section of your final project early? These milestones give you a chance not only to celebrate one victory but to take stock of how far you have come. Treat yourself to your favorite food, shopping, an afternoon at the park, or whatever else makes you happy! Just like free time, these rewards are the perfect opportunity to pat yourself on the back and keep moving forward.
When it comes down to it, efficiency is the key. By taking time to plan ahead and keeping track of progress you lose less time scrambling and avoid the panic and stress of cramming. It’s these little planning opportunities that can make the rest of your time go smoothly. Of course, life is unpredictable but with a good idea of your obligations, these curveballs can be more manageable.
Pioneer Pacific Tip: There are a number of free, time management apps available that can help you to map your time, plan ahead and stay on track. Try a few to find the best fit for you! Already using one you love? Share it with us so others can take advantage of it.