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Time Management Tips For Busy Students That Actually Work

Female worker feeling overwhelmed in the office When you’re in college or university, time can feel like it’s slipping away faster than you realize. From social activities to clubs and sports, it can sometimes be overwhelming to take care of your many commitments. Not to mention the schoolwork that piles up.

These time management tips will help you focus your efforts where it matters most, and take some of that stress off of your shoulders.

1. Sleep Tight all Night Long

Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Not only is getting a good night’s sleep beneficial for your health, it can also provide a boost to your brain’s productivity and concentration. Lack of sleep can actually cause damage to your brain’s ability to function. The better your concentration levels are, the more focused you’ll be on the task at hand, which means less time wasted.

2. Set Realistic Goals

According to York University, one of the most common reasons that some time management systems fail is because the goals are unattainable and too perfectionist in nature. In other words, we set goals for ourselves that are impossible to reach, which makes us waste more time and give up faster. The higher you set your sights, the harder it will be to get your tasks done, which is essentially counterproductive in nature.

3. Plan, Plan, Plan

Make a plan and stick to it. Whether you prefer to make weekly, daily, or monthly goals, choose a planning system that works for your goals and lifestyle. Writing something down and envisioning it on paper can make a world of difference. This includes scheduling out all of the things you have to do so you can clearly organize your priorities.

4. Work Backwards From Your Goals

Let’s say you have an exam coming up. You mark the date down, but instead of setting it and forgetting it, consider the steps that you need to take to get to the exam. This includes making notes, putting together study guides, studying, and anything else you need to do. Now, mark down those individual steps and give yourself time for each of those so you are fully prepared.

5. Your Instagram Account Can Wait

While we all love social media, we all know deep down that it can be a major distraction. In a 2014 study, 36% of respondents admitted that they lost at least an hour of productivity every single day just from checking their social media accounts. If you just can’t tear yourself away on your own, there are plenty of apps you can try that will temporarily block you from the temptations of the Internet.

6. Give Yourself a Clean Space

Give yourself a clean space to work with and start each morning organized, energized, and ready to go. The more organized your space is, the more productive you’re going to be. It might not seem like clutter is that big of a deal, but it can have a serious impact on your ability to stay focused.

7. Knock off Some Bigger Tasks First

That feeling of accomplishment you get from knocking off a big task is a fantastic way to start rifling through your to-do list. Additionally, you’ll feel a lot better doing those important tasks earlier, before you hit the 3pm slump and your brain starts to unwind. This way, you can leave those smaller tasks to the end of your day.

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Leech, J. (2017). 10 reasons why good sleep is important. Healthline. Retrieved from

Morrow, T. (n.d.) 7 time management tricks that keep expert multi-taskers sane. The Muse. Retrieved from

Murray, S. (2014). The internet restriction apps that help improve productivity. The Guardian. Retrieved from

York University. (n.d.) University time management. York University. Retrieved from