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Advice on time management

When it comes to getting things done in college, time management is key. Hear from students who have lived and learned the importance of this skill, and use their tips to become a time management rock star. 

1. “Keep Parkinson's law in mind: a task fills the amount of time it is allotted. If you give yourself a week to complete one assignment, it will take that full week when it really should have only taken up 30 minutes of your time. Plan out your study times and assignments for the week, and give yourself an appropriate amount of time to focus on that. If you don't plan your time, one task will take up all of your time.”

2. “My advice is to block out necessary study time (I use my planner for this) to make your study goals attainable. Breaking my day down into small tasks and writing them out helps a lot because then I can cross them off of my list when I complete them, which helps me feel like I'm making progress. I also find that being specific with my study goals helps a lot. For example, planning to study a part of a lecture I didn't understand versus just planning to study for that class.”

3. “It's very easy to procrastinate. But it's also very easy to get things done a little bit at a time and succeed. Look at your syllabus and make yourself a calendar with all the big dates. For big projects, set yourself smaller goals to make it seem more manageable.”

4. “Start studying one week before your exams! Split the content into three sections: what you know, what you kind of know and what you don't know at all. Study starting with what you don't know until it becomes what you kind of know. Then study what you kind of know until it becomes what you do know. Lastly, do a quick refresh of the easy concepts you sectioned off at the beginning! This way you read EVERYTHING and won’t get discouraged trying to understand everything at once.”

5. “Staying on top of things is crucial. Having a planner is a great tool to make this happen. Planning out your day with realistic time slots, including breaks and meal times, is a very viable way to make sure that all assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. are completed by their due dates.”

6. “It might be tempting to put everything off until the last minute, but planning ahead will save you so much more time and worry! One thing that worked for me was to budget chunks of time across different days of the week to get things done for every class.”

7. With most classes online, it can be difficult to find the motivation to study. I try to never do homework or attend class in my bed, and make sure I have a detailed list of everything I need to turn in for the week so I don't accidentally miss a deadline.”

8. “If you want to succeed at ASU, spend time outside of class preparing for the next lecture or lab material. If you spend time preparing for the material to be covered, you will be ready to absorb and retain more information, which will help you for future exams and assignments.”

9. “Even if you think you have everything organized in your head or online, get some type of planner. The worst it'll do is keep you on track.”

10. “Break down your syllabus into smaller to-do lists in time increments that keep you from being overwhelmed. It's common to be overwhelmed, but it is easy to fix with a good strategy.”

Here’s what we want you to take away from this advice: There are a lot of different ways to manage your time. Find one that works for you and stick to it. No matter what method you choose, make sure that it helps you plan ahead, feel prepared and avoid procrastination.

We’re sharing more advice on topics like finding time for self-care,  tips on doing your best in class, and how to make meaningful connections to help you have your best college experience.

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