Having strong time management skills is key for University or College students wanting succeed while away at school. Mastering time management skills will make you happier, healthier and more successful both in school and throughout your lifetime.
The 5 Ws of Time Management for University & College Students
What is time management? Time management is the method used to plan, control and place time limits on specific activities to increase efficiency, productivity, organization habits and overall well-being.
To keep your school, health, sleep, diet, family life, work life, and social life balanced, it is important for you to develop strong time management skills.
Having strong time management skills are mainly for you. If you are able to develop these skills, not only will you have more “me” time but you will also see benefits across your life: school, work, family and friends.
You need both a quiet “focus” area to do your time management and an actual time management tool (like an agenda or app).
Start enhancing your time management skills now! Do not wait until you are swamped with piles of work to do. Make sure to start implementing time management techniques as soon as school begins or as soon as you start to feel the slightest amount of time pressure.
But the Real Question is…
How Do You Develop Time Management Skills at University?
Here are some tips for how to develop time management skills while you are away at University or College in Waterloo:
Prioritize and Buffer
You must prioritize and re-prioritize always. In addition, you must incorporate “time buffers” in your plans. You can be the most organized person in the world but that won’t stop you from getting sick, having your computer crash, having a due date moved, or losing your iPad. When things like this arise, you must re-plan what is most important to complete or take part in first. As things come up, your time management plan changes and by practicing good time management skills, changes will be quickly prioritized and incorporated into you plan. This reduces stress and panic associated with not being able to get it all done.
- It is important to remember that, as a University or College student, school work should be one of the highest priorities on the “to-do” list.
- Have a proper study/work space and make sure that everything you need is within easy reach.
- Have various study spaces within your building to save travel time. Remember that a change of scenery can give your brain a break so you can stay focused.
- Studying in well-lit areas is more efficient, allowing you to really focus on your work and not strain your eyes.
- Keep your study area strictly for studying and get rid of any distractions (cell phone, Facebook, etc.).
- It is a great idea to have a calendar that outlines your whole semester. You can purchase a 4 month (semester) dry erase calendar at either the WLU or UW bookstore.
- On your calendar, schedule your fixed commitments such as classes, quizzes/tests, exams, paper due dates, work schedule, recreation plans (such as sports or clubs/associations), important family life/social life events, etc.
- Make a “to-do” list either weekly or monthly, whatever works for you. Write down what you plan to do each day and if you want to be even more efficient, plan what you want to do by the hour. This is a great way to stay organized and puts your plan on paper so you won’t forget.
- Take advantage of technology to help manage your time and priorities. You can use online calendars, to-do lists, project plans, and reminders to make sure that you don’t miss any important deadlines or fun activities (a well-deserved break for you). Even with time management, there’s an app for that! And, remember that with cloud-based time management tools, you will always have access to your schedule and deadlines.
- Strive for a balanced life. Too much of one thing affects other things. Too much hanging out with friends or partying can affect your grades, sleeping patterns, etc. But on the other hand, too much studying affects your social life. Good time management skills can help you balance all sides of your life.
- Try to get rid of FOMO (fear of missing out). University and College are amazing because there always seems to be something fun going on. Although this may sound great, it is also very challenging because you do not want to miss out on these fun events but you also need to make sure you get you studying/school work done. By planning well, you can treat yourself after the hard work and have fun!
Work/Part-Time Jobs During School
- Many students want/need to have a part-time job during school to help them pay for tuition, textbooks, rent, groceries, etc.
- If you have time in your schedule for a part-time job, it is a great way to make money and fills your free time with something that will benefit you in the present and future.
- Keeping a calendar of your school deadlines will help you schedule your work around your school priorities. When it is quiet at school, you can work more but when you know you are busy at school, it is a good time to pull back on your work schedule.
- Pulling some late nights and grabbing a meal at a fast food joint every once in a while is not that bad. But doing it often can become an unhealthy habit. Remember that frequent late nights is not good for your efficiency and productivity levels the next day. Also, eating junk food all the time can negatively impact your healthy and does not provide the focused energy you need to focus on studying.
- When planning your schedule, take into account your eating habits and sleeping patterns. Think about the times of day when you are most productive and plan work periods accordingly.
- A great way to take a break from studying and stay fit is by exercise. So make sure you work time into your schedule to go to the gym or play a sport. Exercising also helps you sleep better, work better and feel better.
How Rez-One Student Housing Supports Your Time Management Skills
Rez-One wants to work with you to help you gain strong time management skills so we’ve included amenities that could contribute to keeping you on track:
- A study room with ample tables and chairs located in the building to give you access to a different work space that the desk in your room. This study room is enclosed to eliminate sound and has large windows to bring in light. Whether it is because you have roommate schedule clashes or simply because you want a change of scenery, you can take one minute to get to the study room in the building rather than having to walk to campus or go somewhere else to study.
- Proximity to the UW, WLU and Conestoga College campuses allows you to save time traveling to and from school and spend more time on your studies.
- Proximity to the mall, restaurants, and stores allows you to quickly get what you need. Time is money and, in a student’s case, time is success. Every minute counts.
- Pool and air hockey tables on-site provide a good way to de-stress yourself, even if you just need a quick 15 minute break from studying.
- An inviting and bright laundry room can allow you to do your laundry while studying at the same time. A great opportunity to multi-task.
- A flexible cleaning program is offered that allows you to focus on your studies instead of cleaning the bathrooms. The cleaning programs can really save you critical time when you are tied up with studying for exams.
- Convenient car-rental access at Rez-One properties for quick drives to get errands done.
- On-site gym promotes an active lifestyle while saving precious time by not having to walk/bus/drive to a gym. It is particularly useful in the winter as many students avoid going outside as much as possible because of the cold weather (Waterloo winters can be really cold!).