time management tips for college students

10 ways to grow your time management skills over the summer

One of the best ways to ensure your success in college is to have excellent time management skills. Your college years will be busy–full of schoolwork, attending classes, going to events, and any participating in extracurricular activities. It is important to know your schedule and have a great understanding of your daily and weekly schedule in order to stay on top of assignments and tests, and be able to plan for fun activities as well.

Have you ever taken time to evaluate your time management skills? Do you typically procrastinate, or do you start working on projects and assignments well in advance? Do you already have habits or plans in place for your time management while you’re at school, or is that something you’d like to learn more about?

Working on your time and task management can help relieve stress and help you to maximize your time during the upcoming school year. As your summer continues, consider making a time management plan for your fall semester.

Here are some practical ways you can grow your time management skills over the summer.

Download a calendar app

One of the easiest ways to get started with your time management plan is to download a calendar app so that you can easily access your schedule at any time. Most smartphones come equipped with a calendar app that can be used to put your daily tasks into, so that you can be reminded what you have going on and plan your week out accordingly.

While the calendar apps on your phone are helpful, there are other free apps you can download that have more options for your planning and deeper integrations. Some of these apps include Google Calendar and Outlook, which can integrate with your email (if you have an Outlook or Gmail account). These apps are able to collaborate with other calendars as well, such as your family’s calendars.

Here’s a list of some of the best calendar apps:

  • Google calendar
  • Outlook
  • Calendar +
  • Cozi Family Organizer

Use a planner

If you’re more of a paper person, investing time into your schedule via a planner can be really helpful for you. For many people, writing down each of their responsibilities is an excellent way to help remember them.

Seeing your plans written out for the week can help you manage extra responsibilities outside of work, and ensuring you have enough time to get things done that you’d like. Practicing this type of scheduling in the summer can equip you with good habits for the fall semester.

Read a book or article on how to improve your study habits and time management

Another way to improve your time management and study skills for the upcoming school year is by reading. Books on study skills are available to help you get started in your understanding of time management skills and some tactics that could work best for you.

Everyone’s learnings styles and time and task management are different, so check out some books or articles that can give you the best tips and tricks for the fall semester. ((could you give some suggestions of books and articles in a bulleted list, with links?))

Practice by scheduling your summer tasks

No matter what your summer schedule looks like, you probably have everyday tasks that you need to complete. Whether it’s a summer job or internship, chores at home, a summer class, or even traveling or spending time with friends, you can practice your scheduling skills during the summer. Taking time to schedule out your daily and weekly plans is a great way to prepare for the many tasks you will have in the fall semester, and practicing writing out your schedule regularly will help you develop a habit of it.

Ask for accountability

If time and task management aren’t really your thing, but you want to get better at them, consider asking someone close to you to help hold you accountable. Someone could help you walk through your schedule, helping you manage your time to complete your tasks and responsibilities.

Set reminders or timers on your phone

If it’s tough for you to remember to check a planner or even a calendar app on your phone to know your schedule, it can be helpful to set reminders, alarms, or timers on your phone. These reminders can tell you when it’s time to get ready for work, help you remember different appointments you’ve made, and even keep you accountable for how long you are spending on a given task.

As you learn more about your study habits, you might find that setting a timer for an hour of studying, then taking a 15 minute break is a great way to retain information and help you get a lot done during that hour.

Practice going to bed at a good time each night

While summer might feel like the time to stay out late with friends, and an opportunity to sleep until noon, this type of sleep schedule probably won’t work when you get back to school. It can be helpful for your body to go to bed around the same time each night, and wake up at a consistent time in the morning. This type of routine will help you get on a good schedule for the upcoming school year, and can help with your time and task management each day.

Going to bed at a good time each night will also help you to be more refreshed for the next day. When you’ve had a good night of sleep, you will be able to stick to your time management plan, and complete tasks to the best of your ability.

Start getting into a routine

No matter what your schedule looks like in the summer, it can be good to practice getting into some sort of routine. While this can start with having a consistent bedtime, you can also include other everyday things that you do, like making sure that you eat breakfast and get some exercise.

Plan ahead for the fall semester

You most likely got your schedule for the upcoming year last spring, so you can already know the times and days that you have classes. With that schedule, you should be able to start planning ahead to know how your work schedule, extracurricular activities, and other events can fit into your agenda.

Using your school planner or calendar apps, be proactive and enter your school schedule so that you are prepared to fit in other tasks and events once school starts.

Practice managing your time at your summer job

It’s likely you have a summer job or internship, which is a great place to practice your time and task management. No matter what your job is, there are ways to develop and grow your time management plan. From meeting deadlines to doing a little cleaning during your downtime, there are many ways that you can practice time management and develop great habits for the school year, and your job after graduation.

Ultimately, the habits you develop during the summer and school year will translate into your future job. Your current and future employers will be impressed if you are able to manage your time well to go above and beyond the tasks that are given to you. Therefore, your investment in a time management plan now will help you to thrive in the long run.

Want to think about what your time in the fall will look like?

Download our viewbook and evaluate the impact of your time in college.

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