Most students find that their greatest challenge in adjusting to college life and to succeeding in the classroom is in managing their time effectively. This is especially true for community college students who often work long hours. Adult students deal with the additional issues of child care and family and home responsibilities.
When evaluating your schedule, or how you spend your time, you also need to consider your goals and priorities.
Eventhough attending class and completing assignments is a top priority for most students, many find that they are not allowing enough time for their studies. On the average, students should spend about 2 hours of study for each hour of class time.
If you are finding it difficult to locate the time you need to study, or that there are conflicts among the various demands on your time, you may need to give greater consideration to your goals. By getting clear on your goals, it will be easier to decide how to spend your time. You'll find that you can more easily put off other things and set aside the time you need for studies, if you know how it will help you to achieve your educational or career goals.
Using Time Wisely
You might have all the time in the world, but if you don't use it wisely, it won't help you to meet your goals. Procrastination is a problem for many students. The following are tips to help you deal with this issue.
- Clear your schedule. Don't overextend yourself. Set limits around being interrupted or rescheduling your work time to accommodate others.
- Get motivated. Create a work area that is free from distractions and commit to staying there for at least one to two hours. If you get side-tracked, remind yourself how this activity will help you to meet your goals.
- Prioritize. What has to be done first? When is it due? What is worth more in terms of your grade? What is worth more in terms of your personal, educational, or career goals?
- Make sure you understand the task. Ask questions. Get help if you need it.
- Break down the task into chunk. Estimate how much time you'll need to complete the task. Don't try to do it all at one time. Break it down so that it's "do-able" and not so overwhelming. Stay up-to-date on assignments to help avoid overload.
- It doesn't have to be perfect. Some people are so afraid that they won't perform perfectly, they won't do anything at all. Make sure you understand the expectations of your instructor. Then evaluate how important the task is and what level of performance is acceptable to you. Then just do it!
- When you really hate it, try to make it as enjoyable as possible. Work on this task first, while you have more energy. Reward yourself when you complete certain aspects of the task. Study with a friend.