Balancing college on top of everything else life throws at you may seem like a near impossible task, whether as a first-time student or if you are going back to school as an adult. Trust me – I was there for 16 years…and survived to talk about it today! One area that comes up time and again when I talk with college students is that of enhancing their time management skills. Here are 7 tips for college students to explore to better manage their time.
- Use waiting to your advantageThink about how much time you spend waiting, whether it is in line at the bank, pharmacy, store or waiting on the phone for a customer service representative. Those are just a few examples, but it is amazing how much time you spend waiting – typically an hour or more each day. Take your textbook, books, journal articles, notebooks, highlighter, pen, etc. with you in your purse, car, or bag. When you find those moments that you need to wait for someone or something, use it to your advantage and dive into that school work. My favorite was taking journal articles, a highlighter, and pen, as these were typically easier reads and not difficult to break up into different periods of waiting I had throughout the day.
- Try out the Pomodoro techniqueIf you have not heard of the Pomodoro technique by now, I am a bit surprised, and know that you will likely LOVE this! My husband told me not long ago that it’s amazing how much house cleaning he could complete within 15 minutes. The Pomodoro aligns with this, in that you set a timer for a short period of time (maybe 20-30 minutes) and keep focused on a task. Once the timer dings, you set it to take a break (maybe 5-7 minutes), and then re-cycle through the process as many times as you need. A friend of mine completed 6 Pomodoro sessions in one day and was enthusiastic at her ability to make such progress.
- Create time blocksA physical or electronic calendar can be used to create blocks of time in which a specific focus is identified. For example, I blocked out 4 hours on a Thursday morning to work on a specific work action item. You can utilize time blocking for standard items (e.g., studying for Biology class, going to the gym, watching Game of Thrones), or you can use time blocking for
ad-hoc type needs, such as the example I provided. Creating and sticking to time blocks allow you to design and execute your schedule with focus in mind.
- Secure an accountability partner or groupTo ensure you are staying aligned with your goals and using your time wisely, an accountability partner or group can support you, keep you honest, help you back up when you struggle, and cheer you on as you reach your goals. Consider a trial period for accountability with someone and see if it proves beneficial for you. I have goals and meet with a group once a week and provide an update and get feedback when I get stuck, which has been helpful to keeping me on track and is providing me with valuable support and encouragement along the way.
- Take a break!While it may feel like you are making real progress by going full steam ahead 24×7, it will lead to burn out and is dangerous. Don’t do it! Make sure to give yourself permission to take a break. It may be a small break, such as getting up and moving to another place in the house, walking with a friend or your pup, or, watching your favorite movie or television show; or a larger break, like volunteering for a day or taking a well-deserved vacation. Don’t let yourself get carried away with this “break” time though, as you still have work to do. It is a matter of finding the right balance, where you are making progress, yet also taking time for yourself.
Which of these tips have you already used? What was the outcome?
Published on LinkedIn Publisher by Tracy Shroyer on May 11, 2016
It’s been a month and a half since I’ve written a blog post. More amazingly, so much has happened since October to now! I completed Lewis Howe’s School of Greatness Academy (SOGA 4.0) and discovered my niche. I not only discovered my niche during that time, but my passion took the driver’s seat and went full force into developing the inFOCUS Student Accountability Group that I officially announced this past week. It’s amazing how much you get accomplished when you are in the right space and going the right direction. I’ve had my coaching business, Beyond the Stone Wall, in place since June of 2014, but definitely knew that it would take some time to build a good foundation. I know it’s not completely built, but it has come SO far in just under the 2 years it has been up and running. Finding my niche has been the most challenging part, which I got in the way of, not realizing it was in my own story!
Through the experience of building Beyond the Stone Wall, I am amazed at the increased levels of confidence I have gained in myself. Passion + Confidence = BOOM!
The possibilities are endless and I am pumped up about what the coming months hold! Hope to see and interact with you, whether it’s in the inFOCUS group, in the FaceBook page or group, or during an upcoming event!
So excited to share an awesome interview that Gail Foley from One Awesome Community provided me with the opportunity to do this week! I had a great time talking with Gail and hope that you enjoy this podcast interview and also subscribe to get Gail’s podcasts sent via email to you daily! She is so energetic & puts a smile on my face every morning on my way to work.
Episode 95 Beyond The Stone Wall with Dr. Tracy Shroyer.
Tomorrow evening the #leadwithgiants community will be chatting about success and happiness. I read an article almost a year ago that compared success and happiness to the chicken and the egg question.
My personal feeling is that you need happiness to breed success. While success can bring happiness, it will be difficult to find and maintain unless you already have a good foundation of positivity.
What are your thoughts?
Cannot believe it has been almost a month now since I have posted on my blog! Ahh!
For this post, I thought I would talk a little about a topic that will be the focus of my first women’s leadership event coming up on 10/08: balance.
It has been a productive month for me, as I have been balancing the following:
- continually improving my health (decreasing weight and inches, increasing exercise and clean eating);
- re-designing my coaching website and preparing for my upcoming women’s leadership event on 10/08;
- teaching (took on subbing for 2 web classes in addition to my in-class session); and
- oh…my full-time job has been picking up with our bi-annual certification period and other big projects in progress!
The term busy is overused and annoying, which I why I define my activities as productive instead. These are all choices I have made, and they provide me with a good balance between activities, so that I am never bored and able to maintain a good balance. I have been asked if (1) I sleep, and (2) if I say no. YES to both of these. Many years ago, I was a morning person, getting up as early as 4:00 AM to start my day and heading to sleep by 9:30 or 10:00 PM. I have had trouble in the past trying to get back into that routine, but was able to do so a few weeks ago and absolutely love it! There is something about mornings that is so quiet and peaceful before the hustle and bustle within and outside the house begins for the day. I typically keep this schedule for 3-4 days each week, and also take a few days to stay up a little later to watch some shows, as well as to hit the snooze button a few times on those off days. Also, I have had to say no to a few opportunities due to my schedule and to ensure I maintain I maintain my sanity. Sometimes this includes saying no to something I would enjoy, but know that it would not be worth the expense of throwing off my current balance.
Have you ever tried the stoplight approach and thought more about what you can stop doing, do less of, or start doing? What do you do to try to maintain a balance between all that you have on your plate?