Most classes are online and remote, and whether they are synchronous or asynchronous, students are required to manage their time wisely.
Schoolwork must be strategically distributed across a student’s schedule, making a need for effective time management. With the end of the semester coming up fast, students are going to have to prioritize their time.
Here are seven tips for students to efficiently manage their time.
Use a time log
Students often wonder where their time goes and why they suddenly have an hour left in their day to work on homework. A simple way to find this out is through the use of a time log.
Students can track what they do and for how long by using a spreadsheet or something similar. They can then observe which tasks need less time and how they may better allocate their time. This is something students should try out for a day or two to get a grip on how they spend their time. They will then be better able to engage in the next tips.
Create a schedule
The best way for students to keep track of their Zoom calls, appointments and other scheduled tasks is by creating and following their own schedules. Students can better pinpoint where in their days they may insert designated homework time, ensuring a productive day. It is also important not to forget to include break and snack times.
Freshman fashion merchandising major Emily Loehrke knew to utilize schedules as she entered college.
“Being a new freshman, I was scared starting college with all online classes. Being able to schedule out my work for the week and staying on top of things has really helped me succeed this semester,” Loehrke said.
Break apart a task
When creating a schedule or to-do list, students should break down each task they have to complete in order to engage in a baby-step approach to completion. It aids in quicker execution, as students will know exactly where to go next after completing a task. This also makes the next tip exceedingly more enjoyable.
Cross them out
The gratifying act of crossing tasks off a list once they are complete is a simple activity students should take advantage of. Once a task is crossed off, students will feel very satisfied with themselves and further motivated to move on to their next task. Seeing progress is the ideal motivator. Once the day is over, students can observe how much they got done and what is left to complete. Nothing is better than to see progress and completion.
Set time limits per task
Ensuring students are not spending too much time on a single task is vital, and setting limits per task is one assistive method. Students can decide a task only needs 45 minutes or that they want to work on something for that duration. Then, they can use their smartphones, stopwatches or other devices to alert them of when the time is up. This way, they may have enough time to move on to other important tasks.
Freshman social work major Alexia Bryant values time and ensures she uses it wisely.
“The key is not in spending time but investing in it. Invest in time to pave the way for your future,” Bryant said.
Students might have a list of items to get done in a given day but may end up working on an assignment that is due later than another and then lack time to complete the task with the closer deadline. For this reason, it is important to examine the tasks at hand and responsibly decide which should be given more attention to and first.
Oftentimes, ordering tasks by due date can be effective, but students must also determine if a task should be prioritized due to its heftiness and how much time it needs on its own. If assignment one is simple and due tomorrow and assignment two is long and due the day after, assignment two may be the task to put before assignment one merely because it will take longer to complete, so beginning it earlier would be a better tactic.
Junior English education major Anushree Rayarikar pays attention to deadlines and completes her most important tasks first.
“Making lists and specifically prioritizing the items on the lists helps me keep myself on schedule and turn everything in on time," Rayarikar said.
Continually check lists
Creating to-do lists, schedules and other tools to help with task organization can become entirely useless if one does not engage with them in a recurring manner. It will feel good to have made the list, and sometimes, that accomplished feeling causes one to forget to use the tools they have created for themselves. Students should keep lists and schedules nearby, whether on paper next to their workspace, hanging near them, or in an open document on their computer. They can maintain an overview of their day at all times, prepare for stopping a task and know what is coming up next.