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Time management is a key to staying on top of commitments and reaching your goals!
There is no doubt that some of the time normally spent in classes, with friends or in group meetings have decreased. Therefore, many students are left with ample "unstructured" time to manage.
Setting a schedule for yourself can help provide structure and keep you motivated. If you don't already keep a daily or weekly calendar, try something like the example below to organize your time. After you determine your class and study times, be sure to include time for things like meals, checking in with loved ones and getting fresh air.
In a survey of ASU students reflecting on their experiences of the past 12 months:
Source: American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment: Arizona State University Spring 2019. Baltimore: American College Health Association; Spring 2019 (n=2,096).
There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. This doesn’t change no matter how much you have to do.
As a college student there are so many activities to fill this time: meeting new friends, going to games, attending club meetings, working out at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, going to Broadway musicals at Gammage, and more. Attending class, studying, group projects and utilizing office hours to talk with instructors requires dedication of time. Other timely essentials include sleeping, eating and finding time to relax and unwind. If you are a student with family responsibilities, this requires additional consideration of how to do all there is to do.
Knowing and practicing a variety of effective time management strategies can help you use your time wisely and feel less stressed by having so much to do.
Getting a handle on time management now can help in your future as well. Balancing work, community, family and/or personal life in your future is easier to do if you are practiced in effective time management skills. sample_schedule.pdf
Establish your goals. These might include: getting good grades in your classes, earning enough money to pay your bills, spending time with friends and family, attending home football games. Your list will be unique to you and will likely include academic, social, family, financial and recreational priorities. Knowing your goals can help you make decisions about what to spend your time doing each day. If you know what you want to accomplish, you can eliminate those activities and tasks that are not essential to achieving your goals and focus on the activities and tasks that help you reach your goals.
Keep a planner. The purpose of a planner is to keep a list of what you need to accomplish daily, along with a schedule of where you need to be, doing what and when.
Live well. Good health enables you to participate fully in activities that support your success. Set aside time to attend to your wellness needs, such as:
Plan ahead. You know what you need to accomplish by a future date, so you can begin working on it now.
Set boundaries. Inevitably there will be times when your focus on school work comes into conflict with friends, family and activities.
Be flexible. Be ready to adapt your schedule to your changing needs. Are you falling behind in class? Add a meeting with your professor to your week. Is a friend coming to town for a visit? Postpone scheduled tasks that can wait until you have taken time for a visit. Is there an unexpected expense? Adapt your schedule to allow more time for work. You can still reach your goals.
Always add in some “buffer” time. It takes time to get to and from class. It often takes more time to complete a reading assignment or a project than you originally thought it would. Leave some wiggle room in your schedule to accommodate these variances.
Get help when you need it. If you are having trouble with school, a personal situation, an illness, a relationship, or other areas of life, reach out. Tutoring, academic support services, counseling, health services and other supportive programs are available through ASU to help you overcome challenges and stay the course.