New York, NY – Time is a construct and creates stress for students without proper management skills. The time for studying, working and rest provides a dilemma because there is never enough time.
One notebook with all deadlines and time slots for certain assignments can provide structure to your day as a college student according to Stanford University’s time management website.
“Good time management is critical for students looking to excel and not just skate by with marginal grades,” said Nelson Narain, a SEEK counselor at Lehman College and a former student advisor at Bronx Community College. “I see it all the time with students having to drop classes because they were not prepared or just too distressed. Time can be a deterrent in getting things done.”
SEEK which stands for Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge. Available at CUNY colleges to provide academic support to students who might not be able to attend college due to their educational and financial circumstances
According to NYU’s website on time management, setting realistic and specific goals can provide direction when a student feels lost in the sea of assignments. Figuring out the time of day when one performs best can help identify what causes procrastination.
The cure to procrastination comes down to subdividing assignments into chunks that can easily be completed. Waiting until the last minute to start an assignment leads to unorganized work that usually receives lower grades.
“Looking through your syllabus and planning out your assignments is a simple tip that many students do not consider because they get sidetracked too easily,” said Narain. “Just planning ahead of time can lessen the workload.”
Scheduling time for yourself to recharge and recover leads to a clearer mind. “You don’t want to overwork your brain with nonstop schoolwork because at some point your quality of work might suffer,” said Narain. “Make sure to put time aside for fun. Movies, games and hanging out with friends can reduce stress and anxiety. After that you can see an improvement in your work.”
“I graduated from John Jay in 89’ and my time management skills was just not to waste any time on dumb stuff,” said Kenneth Reid, a John Jay alum. “Students were a little more focused on trying to get out of school with their degree and did not want to spend more time in school. I believe in figuring out your goals ahead of time and pushing towards that.”
Everyone has in between time during community hour and their commute- students can use that time to start reading the next chapter or set up an outline for an upcoming essay.
“If students had more time they would get better grades, but I think students take too many classes nowadays,” said Kenny Liriano, a junior at John Jay. “Last semester I took five classes and became overwhelmed after the first month.”
To-do lists assists with the daily activities that need to be done and provides a visual representation that can be checked off one by one. According to College Board, the addition of rewards to your list can improve motivation.
“Time management was not my strong suit when I first started at Baruch. I was young and spent too much of my time playing video games. I would half-ass a lot of my work,” said Michael DeStefano, director of computer operations at the New York City Law Department. “Time management was a skill that I develop later in my college years and it made life less stressful to the point where I was making a to-do list for everything.”
Sleep and your health should not be sacrificed when configuring your time in an efficient manner. A weary mind needs rest to function at optimal levels.
“Sleep is the first thing to go when strapped for time and that is not a waste of time at all,” said Narain. “Sometimes you have to recharge your brain in order to hit the ground running again.”
“You don’t want to stay in school forever so I say know what eats up [your] time and try to fix that,” said Reid. “My advice to college students now is to get off the internet and PlayStation and do your assignments. When you know you have big papers coming up just put all distractions to the side and I bet your procrastination will be broken”
“Time can be the devil sometimes,” said Francisco Galarza, a sophomore at John Jay. “I go into weekends with so much work to do for my classes and most of the time nothing goes the way I want it to. That doesn’t happen to people with good time management skills but for me I get stressed out because I end up doing other things and that is a definite issue.”
The University of Chicago suggests college students use their SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Detailing the management aspect of time management- setting manageable tasks that can be accomplished.
“Recently I have made time on the weekends to get started on one of my final papers for my film class,” said Galarza. “Work that is a ways off so I started an outline and planning it out in stages. For a 2000-word paper I already have pages of stuff to use just from planning ahead.”
Planning your day and week gives you control of your time. “I like to put lists together to know what’s next,” said Juan Duque, a John Jay sophomore. “I always look over my notes app on my phone and start reading pdf’s while on the train. A good tip I got from my big brother was to take pictures of each page from a chapter so I can read without taking a giant textbook with me all the time. I’m always reading sometime for my five classes because for me reading takes up so much of my time.”