I think it’s safe to say that we have heard this all before, but why is it such a big deal to manage our time? Why should I schedule my weeks and meal-times on extremely detailed planners and deal with constant notifications on my phone? The simple answer is this: you really have no other choice. Yes, it’s the cold hard truth, but someone’s got to say it. Frankly, it is nearly impossible to succeed in life, or college, without some forms of time management skills, and that could mean different things for different people.
For some, that means having a Google Calendar, to-do list, weekly calendar, the whole nine yards constantly updated and checked off. For others, it might mean scheduling a break from work or school that is reserved strictly for “me-time” or time to unwind. Whatever the case may be, across the board the answer is clear: without a plan of action for your time in a day, nothing will get done or at least, nothing will get done successfully without a little bit of unnecessary stress. According to a survey conducted by Greenfield Online, 88 percent of college students want to improve their ability to manage their time and 87 percent of students say that better time management and organization skills would help them get better grades.
Time management has always been a constant struggle for me. I’m always teetering between having my day planned out to the milli-second and just setting aside blocks of time to de-stress and unwind. I’m not going to claim that it is all rainbows and sunshine because it isn’t. It’s not easy to plan out a day so meticulously without some form of adjustment. That’s why it’s called “time management,” it’s learning how to plan and control the hours of the day effectively to accomplish the most goals efficiently. And that’s just it, it is a learning process, just like everything else in life. Did you learn how to ride a bike the first time you hopped on the seat? Of course not, it took time, energy, dedication and maybe even some test drives and training wheels.
That is what time management in college is: the test drive and training wheels of accomplishing your goals and succeeding in your professional careers. There will be the occasional pothole where you mess up and miss an assignment or are late to an important class, but it’s just like the concept of riding a bicycle and wiping out; you need to brush yourself off and try again. Maybe this time instead of just writing it down on a piece of paper at home, bring it with you or make it digital and add it to the reminders on your phone. Reward yourself with a break when you get halfway done with a project or plan out your meals while doing something productive. These suggestions and more might work for you and for some they might not, but it’s important to manage your time and figure out what’s right for you so that you can succeed not only in college but in life as well. Use this time as the training wheels stage of your journey through your career. Let yourself stumble and maybe fall once or twice. Just don’t forget to get back up and try again and learn how to manage your time in a way that works best for you.
Photo: A. Visuals