How to Improve Time Management as a College Student

As a college student, I’ve had no choice. I’ve had to figure out this whole time management. In between classes, 3 organizations, this blog, friends, my mental health, and whatever else you can think of, I have to do homework, study, and enjoy my time at UVA.

I have a long list of tips to share with you all. Tell me in the comments which of these do you use.

Time Management Tips

Plan your week in advance

Before you start a new week, whether it is Sunday night or Monday morning, look at your goals and priorities and plan for them. Depending on your situation, you may plan a few days at a time or if you have a regular rhythm, you may plan your whole week. Schedule in when you plan on doing certain tasks. Add in places you need to be – meetings, classes, appointments, etc. Refer back daily.

Check syllabi, special events or birthdays

Whether you are a paper planner or digital calendar person, you have to find a place where you can put tasks, events, or special days in one place.

Tip: Place all the important assignments, dates, exams in your planner for future reference.

Look ahead at things so you can prepare in advance. If there is a birthday coming up, you want to know to buy a gift. If you have an exam, you should plan to study to prepare.

Include goals in planner

While this sounds obvious, as someone who loves doing New Year’s Resolution, one way people lose track with their resolution is forgetting they had the resolution in the first place. If you write in your planner, you want to take a walk every morning, it’s clear as day that that is your plan. In order to track your goals, you should put them in your planner and see what you check off and what you don’t.

Batch errands

Often we can lose motivation and steam when we are switching between tasks. Even going back and forth between tabs on your computer screen makes you less productive. When your focus is divided, you are less efficient and less productive. Make sure you do the same type of tasks together. If you need to write a proposal and write a paper, write them in the same time span. If you need to clean your room and do laundry, do that together. Do similar tasks together for the most efficiency.

Move your phone

When you have the urge to distract yourself, you end up a hole of Youtube, on the most obscure of videos 6 hours later. Do yourself a favor and remove the temptation. Move your phone into a drawer, into another room. Just place it in a different place. If you’re not using technology, get rid of your computer too. Remove distractions that you have no choice to do work unless you want to be bored.

Pomodoro method

This method is a great way to study and get started on work. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Just start working until the timer. Take a 5 minute break. Do this 4 times. At the fourth time, take a 10 minute break.

The way to make this effective is to make your break not scrolling on Instagram, but something productive. Rest should be using a different part of your brain, whereas Instagram or a Youtube video provides you all the details so your brain doesn’t have anything to fill in.

Take a walk. Do some pushups. Clean your space. Stretch. Read for leisure.

Time block

Similar to the Pomodoro method, batch your tasks based on how much time it’ll take to do them. This requires a lot of discipline. An example for me –

Write a paper for an 1 hour. Spend 10 minutes cleaning my room. Spend 40 minutes doing a reading. Spend an hour and a half at lunch with a friend. Spend 2 more hours writing said paper.

Know when you work best

If you are a morning person and you are trying to stay up late to get some last minute work done, you are not working effectively. Wake up early and finish it. That said, as a night owl, don’t expect yourself to wake up early and finish any work if you are used to staying up late.

Also, the type of work you are doing at what time of day matters. For me, doing computer science late at night was the bane of my existence. It would be 3 in the morning and I would be upset that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. But reading late at night didn’t bother me because reading relaxes me and helps me sleep.

Do what makes you inspired first

If you have the choice of what you can work on and when, choose to do something that’ll get you out of bed in the morning. If you do the thing you hate first thing in the morning, yes, you’ll get it out the way, but you won’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Choose to start your day off on the right foot.

Don’t multitask

Despite the hordes of people who believe they can multitask, they are wrong. Science proves them wrong. Doing multiple things at once makes the work you are doing worse in quality. You can make more mistakes and it will take longer.

Spend time doing one task at a time and you’ll be checking them off your list, one by one.

Hope this helps you be productive and use your time wisely!

Signing off,


Give me your best time management tips!

2 thoughts on “How to Improve Time Management as a College Student

  1. Gigi, Excellent ideas for time management during college. I’m way past those years, though I have one daughter in grad school and I think I’ll share ‘stop multi-tasking’ with her. Glad to connect with a fellow blogger today. God bless!

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