8 Time Management Tips for Adult College Students

Beth Dumbauld

timeA successful college student is someone who knows how to manage their most critical resource – time. Here are 8 time management strategies to help adult learners like you fit college into your life:

1 - Establish priorities

Not all tasks are essential. Make a prioritized list. Some tasks can wait. Some tasks can be delegated. Some tasks can be tossed.

2 - Know yourself

Schedule highest priority tasks when you do your best work. Morning person or night owl ­– know who you are.

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3 - Sleep. Be Healthy

Stress reduces performance, as does lack of sleep. Be sure to get enough of both. Also, try walking or stretching between study activities to help clear your mind and reset your brain for new information.

4 - Build in flexibility

An adult learner needs a flexible mindset and a flexible schedule. Build slack into your schedule to help manage unforeseen obstacles. Life happens. Plan accordingly.

5 - Let the little things add up

Don’t wait for big chunks of time to get things done. Whether touching base with an academic advisor, editing a paper, reviewing notes, or reading a few pages of required reading­ – small things can be accomplished in the spaces between other commitments.

6 - Know when it’s survival time

Midterms and finals are not a time for moderation. Non-essentials should fall to the wayside as you prepare yourself for these important tests. Let your friends and family know finals are coming so they can give you the space you need.

7 - Know when it’s celebration time

Celebrate milestones. Acknowledge a job well done. Give yourself and others permission to be proud of your hard work ­–­ and mark the progression towards your degree.

8 - Compromise

At times, there will not be enough time to get things done the way you want. When those times happen, trade in excellence for efficiency. Sometimes, good enough has to be good enough.

Earning a college degree is a cumulative ­process. If you develop good time management habits early on – you’ll be able to reward yourself with a college degree sooner, rather than later.

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