How I Manage My Time In College: College-Ish
Gosh, It feels like I have not written in such a long time (in blogger years) and I can definitely say I missed writing and I missed you! College has been kicking my butt so badly and it is a miracle that I am writing this and yes, I am extremely dramatic but this is truly how I feel. I did not expect my senior year to be as time-consuming as it currently is and after three weeks I feel like I am barely floating. With all the chaos surrounding these last three weeks, my saving grace has been my ability to manage my time in such a way that I am not struggling with my classes and other responsibilities. This post would give you a quick insight into the little tips and tricks I use as a college student to succeed and hopefully, you can learn a thing or two as well.
You Need A Planner (PaperBack and Apps)
I would always roll my eyes when I saw those really "extra" people (as I called them) who had color coordinated planners. I have never been the most organized person and to me, planners seemed so organized that I thought they would never work for me. Well, I finally got one about a year ago and trust me, it changed my life! I have been through about six planners since then, ranging from the free ones I get from my school to some really expensive ones in an effort to try to get the perfect one for me. I have finally settled on an unconventional type of planner called the Productivity Planner by the Intelligent Change. This planner has been a lifesaver for me. It uses a method called the Pomodoro technique to help beat procrastination and although it took me awhile to get a hang of it, I think it's working pretty well for me now. It is extremely easy to use and not as complicated, which is a saving grace for me as well.
Now, if you are not the "planner type" that is totally fine. I also use several apps to try to maintain a semblance of stability in my life. I currently use an app called the "Planner PRO" that you can download on your iPhone or Android. Most iphone's also come with a reminder app and a to-do list app which in itself can be very useful for people who are not a fan of paper planners.
A Large Calendar or Sticky Notes
If you don't want to get a planner or even use any of the apps I just mentioned, large calendar or sticky notes could also work for you. I like to make sure I have all my ends covered so I work with a planner, my app and I also have a large calendar in my room so whenever I wake up that is the first thing I see. It works because having a large calendar makes it look like my responsibilities are staring down at me. Trust me, it's scary because you might get overwhelmed if you have a lot to do but it lets you work quicker in getting all of those things done. I use a cheap large calendar from my local Walmart but you can use any type you want, just make sure it's large enough so you can see it and see what you need to get done!
Have A Set Sleep Schedule
I am one to talk on this but having a set sleep schedule works wonders for me. Now I don't mean the perfect 8 hours because come on... who sleeps 8 hours in college any ways. But, I do mean taking some time out to rest and recharge. For me, I take 30-minute power naps each day. If it's sneaking to a little quiet corner or running to my room between classes, I try my hardest to take naps. It helps me maintain sanity in school and it also helps relax my brain before rushing back to class or events going on around the city.
Prioritize the Important Stuff
If you use the productivity planner that I mentioned above, prioritizing would become second nature. As a college student, you often have assignments and tests due either pretty soon or further into the semester but prioritizing and keeping a list helps you remember to do everything that needs to get done on time so you beat the procrastination bug. I have a to-do list that I fill out to where the things that are more important make the top of the list. This helps me keep note of what I need to get done first before I move on to something else.
You are probably wondering what this means right? Let me explain! Every Thursday at 9 pm, I do a brain dump. I pour out everything I need to get done for the upcoming week and write every single thing down from the biggest things to the littlest things. This helps me keep track of what I need to do over the weekend and what I can push off to during the week. Then, Sunday nights I open that list and cross out everything I achieved that weekend and pat myself on the back if I got most of my work done. I have done this since I started college and it has helped me maintain sanity especially with assignments that are due the next week that I otherwise would have forgotten about.
Managing your time in college is not as easy as everyone makes it seem. I have had to learn what works for me and how I can manipulate certain tactics to my advantage. I am not perfect but you don't have to be! I constantly struggle and in the past three weeks, I have fallen more times than I can count. However, I am learning to balance all that I do and these tips have in some way made me stay afloat! If you have any secrets on how to manage my time better and that you want to share please leave a comment! I would love to learn from you!