Written by Carrie Baker. Media by Kayla Morton.
Second semester is starting up in full force and as weeks go by, students start to feel weighed down by the build up of homework, projects, quizzes and tests. Not only do these students combat academic pressures, but more times than not, they also balance other commitments like clubs, organizations, athletics and jobs. By the time college students finish these duties, it feels impossible to reserve time alone or with friends and family. As a result, students begin to feel stressed and start to sink in to the “Second Semester Slump.”
Though “The Slump” may be tough to combat, it isn’t impossible! Time management skills are a great tool to help you alleviate stress this semester.
1. Make a Plan
One of the best ways to save time is to have a plan of action. Invest in a planner or a desk calendar and write out your schedule. This can be a daily, weekly, or even a monthly schedule; whatever works best for you! Pencil in all of your commitments (classes, practices, work, meetings, etc.) and then block out any FREE TIME. This way you will always have a visual schedule to reference rather than trying to work off of your memory!
2. Utilize Time Between Classes
Don’t forget about those small increments of time between classes when filling out your planner. Any free time is GREAT time to get something accomplished! So use that hour between your classes to finish a smaller homework assignment, get started on a paper, read for a class or study.
3. Set Goals
Setting goals and sticking to them is probably the best way to help alleviate your workload. At the beginning of the day, make a list of all the tasks you need to get accomplished that day. If you want to get really specific, assign a task to a certain time frame. This distributes your workload more evenly and ensures completion in a timely and efficient manner!
4. Minimize Distractions
When you start working, make sure you are in an area with little to no distractions. Put away your phone, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and don’t blast music! If your workspace is clean and organized, you will stay more focused. This stops you from jumping around between tasks and wasting time.
5. Less Netflix, More Sleep
A recent article highlighting research performed by the College of Media and Communications, shows that 9 out of 10 college students use Netflix on a regular basis. The author of the article says students usually use the service to unwind from the stress of school in their free time. While this may seem like a good thing, getting in the habit of watching Netflix can easily lead to procrastination. If students aren’t watching it between classes, chances are they are watching it right before bed. This isn’t a problem until the binge watching keeps students up until 3 a.m. every morning. Make this a habit and you’ll wake up tired and unprepared to tackle the day’s tasks as efficiently as you could with a good night’s sleep! So fight the temptation and choose rest!
The secret to time management is to find a routine that works for you and STICK with it! Optimize your free time to keep yourself on track and distribute your workload accordingly. The great thing is, you don’t have to be an organizational expert to fine-tune your time management skills and you don’t have to go through the process alone. A great service for Greenville College students is the Student Success Center. You can visit Student Success to be paired with an academic coach who will help you balance your time and workload.
Once you implement these practices, you’ll find there is still time to reward yourself and relax after your tasks are completed. The only difference is, the guilt of procrastination and the sinking feeling of piled up work will be gone! I guarantee these small changes can help you feel less stressed and more in control of your semester.