Time management: How do you rate?

Here you are at the beginning of another semester. With the last half of the school year ahead of you, how would you rate your time management skills?

Which describes you?

A.    Major multi-tasker.
B.    Probably shouldn’t have my cell phone nearby during study time.
C.    Totally distracted by dust flecks in the air.

Now, what do you do about it?

If you chose A: You’re on the right track to balancing the classes, study time, projects, extracurricular activities and the social scene of your next educational phase...college. Remember to carve out the time and the right setting for how and where you study best. College is harder, so take more time with your subjects and go easy on the socialization until you’re sure you can do both well.

If you chose B: The good thing is that you recognize the distractions and can win the battle of being tempted by them. Those distractions get a little noisier in college and because you’ll be living more independently (without the parents around), you’re going to have to be your own boss. Prioritize your day, homework first; study and reviewing content second; hang with friends and cell phone third.

Instead of making your cell phone the enemy, rely on its smart technology. Use it to help you by scheduling your study time on our calendar, setting the alarm function to wake you up from naps or to tell you when you need a break from studying and recording important parts of lectures.

If you chose C: You’re not alone if you are easily drawn to anything but studying. But here’s where you’re going to have to make a change in your life because the pace of college won’t stop while you smell the roses (or watch the squirrels). You’re the kind of person who needs lists, a quiet place to study removed from outside distractions like Netflix, your phone and frankly, people. The trick is finding what that place is for you personally. Libraries, book stores, or a park might be good options. Leave your phone on silent or in your dorm room.

Stay focused by making a daily task list to map out what you will do between classes and in your free time...homework, study, meet with a professor, eat, socialize with friends, sleep. Throughout the semester, see if you can add some activities to your day like working out, playing a game of basketball once a week. Your best bet is to focus on the important things first, then pepper in the extras because in college, grades are your first priority!

The tools

Everyone is different, so you’ll have to test some tools to find the one that works for you. Consider these time management tools:

Post-It Notes: These reminders can stick on mirrors, books or be pasted to your forehead to help you stay on track.

Planners: Take it with you everywhere. Use your planner to write down assignments and projects that are due along with when you will be studying.

White boards: Hang this in your dorm room to see your day at a glance and mentally prepare for what’s next.

Email service: These often have great calendars and reminders you can customize to warn you days or minutes before the event.

Cell phone: Handy and portable, use this to schedule events, as an alarm clock, a stopwatch for studying and to snap of photo of a friend’s notes in case you missed class.

Where you going to college?

Find out more information about Iowa 25's private colleges here

You can also use the Find Your Major Tool to see which Iowa private college is your best fit!