Academic Resource Guide - Time Management

The Kent State University Golden Flash Handbook of Leadership, created by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI), offers several tips on time management for students. It is important for you to manage your time in college in order to balance your academic life with your social life and perhaps your part-time or full-time job. The Golden Flash Handbook of Leadership offers these time management tips for students:

  • Avoid procrastinating. Build your will power. Remember the importance of earning a degree and why you are in college. Create personal deadlines. Turn off cell phones and computers as needed.
  •  Stay organized. Write a to-do list for the day and the week. Use a student planner, and color coordinate your schedule. Avoid back-to-back commitments.
  •  Learn to say “No.” This includes learning when it is okay to say “no” in situations when you have already committed to doing something else in the time frame required, if it does not fit into the priorities you have set, or if you cannot give it the time and attention it deserves or needs to be done well.
  •  Use your time wisely. Develop a routine (pay bills on one day, exercise on other days, etc.). Be prepared for unanticipated situations. Use the shorter mounts of time between classes to go to the library rather than going back to your room; this will help you stay academically focused. Arrive early to scheduled meetings and activities. We recommend 3-5 short, intense study sessions per day that involve setting a goal (1-2 minutes), studying with focus (30-50 minutes), rewarding yourself (10-15 minutes), and reviewing the information (5 minutes).
  • Stay motivated. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Give yourself breaks during work periods so you do not become overwhelmed and lose motivation. Find a location where you cannot be distracted. Maintain a neat, organized study area.

Avoiding procrastination, staying organized, learning to say “no,” using your time wisely, and staying motivated can all help you manage your time in college. 

Adapted from PaperClip Communications, Birmingham University’s Student Leader Handbook, 25 Time Management Tips by Gayle Webb, Get Students to Focus on Learning Instead of Grades: Metacognition is the Key Presentation by Dr. Saundra McGuire, and the Golden Flash Handbook of Leadership