Hello! My name is Anna Pellegrini, and I am finishing up my last semester here at Missouri State. I am majoring in Organizational Communication with minors in Psychology and Leadership. I am writing this blog to talk about the importance of time management and to talk about some tips to help manage it.
All throughout high school, academics came easy to me. Assignments took little time to complete, and I hardly ever had to study for exams. After school, I was able to work about 20 hours a week, have time to hang out with friends, and was able to take time for myself and relax.
Coming to MSU as a first-generation student, I came into college with the mindset of college will be a little harder, but I would be fine academically taking the same strategies I used in high school. However, after the first couple of weeks of school passed, I was wrong. Classes are not necessarily “harder”, but more work is required.
With transitioning to a new school, new town, new friends, new classes, new environment, and new co-curricular activities I had a hard time adjusting. My relationships started to fail, my grades were not what I wanted them to be, and I would forget about prior commitments made. I knew this was not how I wanted to start off my college career, and I needed to make a change. After reflecting on why these issues were occurring, I realized I was managing my time poorly.
Below are some 6 tips that I use to help me manage my time efficiently and allows me to be successful not only in my classes but with my relationships, work, co-curricular activities, and my daily life.
- Be organized
- Being organized looks different in every situation. For me, I use a calendar – in fact I use two calendars – one digital and one physical. I insert my schedule into my digital calendar and allow it to send me notifications 15 minutes before the class/shift/event begins. In my physical calendar, I write out when assignments are due and incorporate a to-do list in it.
- I keep separate folders and notebooks or files for each class. This allows me to know where everything is and makes looking up specific notes easy.
- To-do lists are something that I love making. It allows me to prioritize tasks I need to complete. When prioritizing my lists, it is important to know when the assignment is due, the importance of assignment, and an approximation of how long the assignment may take. Reflect on yourself and your wants and prioritize items in what makes the most sense to you.
- Create deadlines
- Set deadlines for yourself and stick to them. If you set the deadline to complete a paper by Friday night and your friends want to go out on Friday, stick to your deadline. Sometimes you will have to say no to going out and complete assignments.
- Dedicate time wisely
- Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but it is up to you to determine how you will spend yours. Procrastination is something that everyone does but if you dedicate your time, hopefully you will not procrastinate as much. The way I dedicate my time is by setting aside specific times to work on specific assignments. For example, if I am at work, I am strictly focusing on work. I am not completing other assignments or thinking about what I want to eat for lunch tomorrow. I complete the tasks dedicated to the time I set aside.
- Plan ahead
- Planning ahead is something that helped my time management. Every semester when I get my syllabus from my professors, I look at the assignments and when each assignment was due. If I had a heavy week of assignment deadlines or exams, I would use the week before to start assignments or begin studying for the exams.
- If I know some friends are wanting to go out over the weekend and I have some assignments due that same weekend, I will make sure I complete the assignments beforehand, so I still have the opportunity to socialize.
- Find what works for you
- Although these are only a few tips that have helped me manage my time better, it does not necessarily mean they will work for you. College is the time to discover new interests, passions, and yourself. This journey is not going to be easy and there are going to be times when you fail and that is OKAY! Take time and try new things until you find what helps you succeed. Good luck!
(submitted by Anna Pellegrini, Missouri State University | Organizational Communication; Orientation and Transition Programs | Orientation Assistant; Student Government Association | Director of Administrative Services; Alpha Omicron Pi)