Well, I have to be honest. I am bad with my time. This week in particular, I have really struggled with productivity, especially when it comes to doing homework and writing papers. I’m learning again, as I always do at this time in the semester, that time management is paramount to success as a student or even more broadly, as a human being. These are the proverbial “Dog Days” of the semester, when students decide to put down Hemingway and pick up a new series on Netflix. Every college student has felt this at one time or another, and that is almost a proven problem. In my case, my time management issue comes in my literature classes (I love these classes, and the material is fantastic. Just not staying on track very well. lol). Instead of writing papers or reading my assigned book, I’ve been killing time on Facebook, and distracting myself with anything within reach. This has not inhibited me greatly, but it will if I am not careful (I learned this lesson last year, so I am taking precautionary measures). All of this rambling aside, I am going to give you all a few ideas for battling boredom and staying on track (in a collegiate context. When I learn about adult life, I’ll blog about it too). Here they are!
(Another disclaimer before I begin this list: I understand that in the previous paragraph I mentioned my issues with time-management. I am no authority, but every pointer I am putting up here will be applied in my life at some point in the semester. Just food for thought – not the golden rules.)
1. You don’t have to overschedule in order to succeed.
I find that there is a healthy balance between overzealously blocking out every single minute and not keeping a planner at all. I think that if you were to keep and check a planner, you would be more effective, but you must also allow time for flexibility. As a college student especially, campus activities will take up time on a pretty consistent basis. These events are scheduled in a seemingly arbitrary way, so if you want to remain involved on campus, you must allow a little bit of wiggle room in your schedule. No need at all to be blocked up down to every minute of every day. Living that way makes life a pain.
2. Do NOT get over-involved. Just don’t do it.
I know this sounds really weird, coming from a guy who at one time was in a campus activities committee, working two different jobs, and taking twenty hours in a semester. Trust me. Getting involved is great, but it comes at a cost: time. I would submit that in order to enjoy college more, you must at least go to events put on by campus committees. You know the activities fee in your tuition costs? Yeah. You are already paying for it, just go get involved. It is a waste of money to not show up to events. My warning for you comes connected with the idea of involvement: if you do too much, you will burn out. Guaranteed. It is incredibly difficult to stay on track with homework and work (two things that are kind of important…) if you are busy at the Pizza Hodown or Shaving Cream Slip ‘n’ Slide (ficticious events). Again – involvement good, over-involvement, bad.
3. Make time for the things and people you love. After your homework is done.
I sound like your dad. I’m sorry. Seriously though, make your degree your priority. The frat boy can finish school by the skin of his teeth, saying that he networked like crazy, but friends does not a good person make. The key to success in this area of time management is a balance between social activity and academic focus. These sides can intermingle, but as long as they are somewhat evenly balanced, success should be at least a little easier. It may sound weird that I think homework should come first, but as I’ve done all the college nights out (stay at McDonalds till 4 A.M., IHOP till about the same time, etc.), I can say from experience that too much social activity hurts grades, and too much studying hurts social skills. It is good to come out of college a well-rounded student. Not someone who wasted time on any one thing.
I am not an authority. At all. I hope that these are only a short list of some pretty wonderful ideas for living a little more efficiently, and if you feel I am either off-base or lacking in my ideas, submit more! I’m always in need of more blog ideas. Just a few thoughts for you, from a college kid who is still on his way around the block. Love y’all. Keep readin’.