6 tips for better time management

Andrea DeBauche, Arts Editor

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Can’t we all relate to this cabin-fevered, murderous lunatic from the movie “The Shining?” As college students, many of us have been stressed to the brink of a mental breakdown comparable to Jack Nicholson’s character. Each of us has work, school, family and recreation to juggle, but fitting all those activities into our schedules causes conflict. So, here are some ideas to keep in mind for better time management.

1. Do schoolwork during the time of day when you have the most energy. 

If you’re a morning person, do homework right away in the morning; if you’re a night person, do homework at night. This way, you’re fresh minded to think critically and solve problems. Being physically energized can only lead to good things: better quality work, more patience and fewer “I’m so exhausted, I can’t work on this anymore right now” breaks.

2. Work on projects a little at a time. 

It’s no fun to write a four-page paper in one sitting or research and prepare a whole speech the night before it’s due. Breaking a project up into smaller goals can alleviate some of the pressure and feel like less work.

3. Work for realistic periods of time.

If you work better by writing for only an hour before you get tired or distracted, then do that and come back to the project a little later. Just because some of your more studious friends can write all day without getting loopy doesn’t mean that you can’t take your time.

4. Use your free time wisely.

Why not read a chapter or study for a bit on the bus or on break at work? A lot of work can be done in 15-minute periods of free time throughout your day.

5. Mix up work and play throughout your day. 

Do some homework; then watch TV. Do more homework; then take your dog for a walk. Do even more homework; then play Super Nintendo with your roommate (in my case). Your day will go more smoothly than either cramming for hours on end doing homework or putting off your homework for hours on end doing something relaxing.

6. Allow extra time for unexpected things.

Maybe your laptop will crash while you’re writing the last paragraph of your paper. Maybe your dog will eat your homework. Maybe that project will take you six hours of work instead of the three hours that you estimated. Allowing time for the unexpected will help you avoid academic catastrophes.