How to Acquire and Perfect Time Management Skills

Time management skills can make the difference between a stellar student and a flunking one, a stressed-out weekend or a relaxed break and a frantic call to the parents or a pleasant conversation. Help your college student acquire and perfect her time management skills with the following tips:

1. Set Goals

Encourage your student to take time at the beginning of each semester or even before starting big projects to think about her goals. Defining goals specifically, so they’re measurable and relevant, will help your student to be excited about the outcome and carefully plan the steps to get there.

2. Use a Calendar

Whether your student uses pen and paper the old-fashioned way or types everything important and saves it online, she needs to find a system that works for her to keep her on-track. Color-coding events and tasks according to priority can be helpful, and having one place to find all demands on her time – social, academic, etc. – will help her manage everything.

3. Plan Ahead

When you talk to your student on the phone or via email, help her plan ahead for classes and big projects. A due date four weeks down the road should be taken into account now. Remind her to study for classes consistently and gradually, not just before a test.

4. Take a Holistic Approach

Your student needs to be healthy to manage her time most efficiently. Taking care of her body will give her the energy and motivation to stay on top of all the demands in her life. Ask her if she’s getting six to eight hours of sleep every night, eating a well-balanced diet, exercising when she can and finding time for quiet relaxation.

5. Think Long-term

Your student should start to look at her classes and responsibilities as priorities that are building her character, not just a task on a to-do list. If she can form study groups with classmates to discuss the material, rather than just memorizing it, she will learn the content and be able to build upon her knowledge in the next class or test.

6. Just Say No

Help your student decide what activities and responsibilities are important and what can wait. It can be easy to over-commit and try to excel in every area, but that will lead to burnout.  Your student will be able to manage her time and accomplish her goals when she’s 100 percent committed to them.

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