Do you know how to manage your time?
What is the single most common reason that forces students to leave school? Failing grades? Depleted finances? Depression? No. While these are all contributing factors, the number one reason is that they fail to manage their time.
So what can you do to avoid the pitfalls that stop so many other students dead in their tracks? Begin building a flexible schedule and try a little discipline to offset the rush of new experiences that await you in your new school. Here’s some simple, common sense tips to get you started out right.
• Build an enterprise to help you prioritize. That’s right – hit the big stuff first. Devise a system that helps you get started on those assignments which will have the largest impact on your grade. It can be something as simple as a weekly list, or it can be something as complex as a network of friends who can be your partners and springboards.
• You have to say no sometimes. It’s not easy to say no to new friends, but if scoring well on an upcoming exam hangs in the balance, there’s really no choice. If friends are worth keeping, they’ll know how important your studies are.
• Get it done and don’t get hung up on the details. Just do your best. Hard work is more important to professors than perfection. Many times, good professors will recognize and reward the ambition from your efforts.
• Identify your creative and energetic peaks. Do you get energized in the morning or at night? Choose your most alert time to do your studying, even if it’s during your favorite show. Desperate Housewives can wait (after all - that's what TiVo is for!)
• Big assignment? Break it down. Strive to keep things manageable. Don’t wait until the week before to begin your work. Your first draft won’t be the best you can do. Leave time to revise and proof.
• Optimize your class schedule. Class, break, study time, class, exercise, break, class, etc. Make a schedule and stick to it!
• Find a job with flexible hours. Many times, the most forgiving jobs are to be found on campus through the university because they have your well-being in mind. Try to avoid jobs that keep you up very late!
• Do the review. Spending a few short minutes each week with class material will drastically improve your retention. You will save yourself a lot of time come finals and reduce your total time spent studying, making yourself a much more confident test taker.
• Let voice mail field the calls. Chatting or texting is much easier than studying. Know your limits when it comes to sharing your gift of gab.