Time Management For The Unorganized College Student

Time management is something that doesn’t come naturally to most people, it’s something we need to learn and teach ourselves. But how? Don’t worry, if you don’t know where to start, I’m here to help you!


We’ve all been there, logging into blackboard just to see you’ve missed yet again another quiz. The first assignment or two isn’t such a big deal, but the missed assignments start to pile up and your grade starts to suffer. And the frustration starts to kick in that you’re doing bad in school, not because you don’t know the material, but because you didn’t know what was due when.

This was something a lot of people struggle with, even myself. Iv’e found that the best way to keep everything organized is by having and actually using an agenda. When it comes to school, look at all your syllabi and write all due dates and assignments for the entire semester, this way you’ll have no surprise assignments! This will help you keep everything organized and get you one step closer to being better at time management.


To do lists

I know how it feels to have a busy day, and I don’t mean full of fun plans, I’m talking a day full of homework, studying, and errands. It’s not something we wake up and look forward to, so how do we make these slow painful days more bearable? To do lists! To do lists are one of the key steps for improving your time management skills. I know, it doesn’t sound fun, but hear me out first!

Like we talked about before, writing everything down will give you some type of control over this hectic day. For me writing everything down eases my stress because now I can see what I need to do and when I need it done by. At first your long list may be intimidating, but organizing it helps you realize it’s not impossible to do it all.


By listing the tasks that you intend to get done in order to accomplish you overall goal of finishing everything give you a sense of accomplishment. Oh and we can’t ignore the satisfaction you get by crossing those suckers out! Why is this so important? While writing a line through a task doesn’t seem so important, you’d be surprised at how affective it is.

This action, while yes, is satisfying will also give you a sense of achievement. To be proud of yourself, which is great motivation to keep you moving forward. Once you cross off one thing from your to do list, you’ll find yourself longing to keep writing lines through your tasks!


Determine Whether You’re A Night Owl Or A Rooster

I know, you might be confused on as to how this has anything to do with time management. But trust me it has a lot more of a connection than meets the eye. For those who don’t already know, and I’m sure most of you do, night owls are people who stay up late and roosters are people who wake up early and actually enjoy it…no trust me people like that exist.

Determining which you are will help you determine what hours in the day you have the most energy. I know personally I have a lot more energy right when I wake up, so I take advantage of that and get all of my work done in the earlier hours of the day. 


It’s Okay To Take Breaks

Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to take a break. As college student’s we find ourselves studying a lot. I myself have spent eleven hours in the library at my school for just one exam, and for some reason we’ve been taught that’s normal. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not normal, and is actually not good for you. Studying for hours on end without any breaks honestly won’t get you too far. Sure, you’ll learn and digest some of the information, but why not digest everything you need to know. 

Taking breaks when studying is actually known to help you retain more information. Now when I say take a break, I don’t mean go and watch a movie. Study breaks should only be about ten to fifteen minutes. Some study breaks you can try include: stretching, meditating, or grabbing a snack.

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Limit Distractions

I know how going to study with a friend makes it more enjoyable, but it may be because you’re just hanging out with them and not getting work done. The best ways to better your time management is by using your time wisely. Limiting distractions will help you stay on task and get the most out of your time. Now distractions can come in all shapes and sizes, living or nonliving.

I know personally my biggest distraction is my phone. I’ll find myself going on my phone to answer a text and somehow end up on Tiktok and suddenly thirty minutes went by. Another big distraction is music, a lot of people tend to listen to music while working or studying, but if you’re not careful it can be a bid distraction as well. Or like I said earlier maybe the company you’re with distract you a little too much.


So how do we solve this? Try putting your phone on do not disturb this will limit any notifications, so you won’t have a reason to check your phone. If you want to listen to music you can but try to choose music you won’t find yourself singing along to. Studying with friends definitely makes it more enjoyable, but remember to set boundaries and share that you need to focus and get work done!

Plan Ahead

Last but not least it planning ahead. Remember when I talked to you about using an agenda, this pretty much goes hand in hand with that. Writing your school assignments months in advance is an important part of staying on top of everything school wise. But what about everything else? Sports practices, hanging out with friends, doctors appointments, etc. 


Agenda’s aren’t just for school assignments, they’re for everyday events and tasks. If someone asks you to hangout, be sure to check if anything else is planned for that day or if you’re free before you give them the thumbs up. And once you have something planned be quick to write it in your agenda. Planning ahead will help your time management skills and help you avoid overwhelming yourself with too many things in one day!

What time management tip did you find most helpful? Comment below!

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