Time is one of our most important resources. Most students find that their greatest challenge in adjusting to college life and succeeding in the classroom is in managing their time effectively. The following are tips to help you develop good time management skills to achieve your goals.
Keep a monthly calendar
Use it to record dates for assignment due dates, quizzes, tests, mid-terms, final examinations, and presentations. These dates are important steps toward your goals and referring often to your calendar will help you stay focused. Check PCC Academic Calendar for list of important college deadlines.
Weekly priority list
Before each school week begins, prepare a weekly priority list that takes into account both short and long-term assignments. List those things that you need to accomplish during the week. Be prepared, identify what needs to be read, reviewed, or written for each course; list specific chapters and pages. Then review test schedules and long-term assignments and specify time for preparation.
Set your weekly schedule
Figure out how much time you usually spend on your activities and then create a weekly schedule to follow. Determine how much free time you have before you add any commitments. And don’t forget to schedule time to relax and take care of yourself.
In order to create an efficient schedule for yourself follow these steps:
- Identify committed time. Record those things you must do and the times attached to each activity. Include your class and work times, family activities, exercise times, commuting, etc.
- Identify personal time. Record the time you need for sleeping, eating, grooming, doing household chores, etc. Be sure to set realistic goals for yourself by including some time for errands and for having fun. You may want to plan some “flex time” into your schedule for unexpected things that might come up throughout the week.
- Estimate study time. Estimate how much study time you will need for each class. On average, students should spend about 2 hours of study for each hour of class time. For example, if you are taking 12 credits per term, you should allow 24 hours per week for study. This includes time for reading, writing papers, preparing projects, and for test preparation. Some of the more difficult classes may require additional study time.
- Establish a study plan. Set aside a fixed time and space to study. Have your study space be free from distraction and noise. Shut off your phone and respond to calls or texts when your work is finished. Studying at the same time daily helps your studying behavior become habitual and easier to accomplish. Don’t procrastinate. Give yourself enough time to complete required readings, assignments, and to study for exams.