How to Manage Time in College

Your goal is to limit distractions, stay the course, get good grades, and graduate. Manage your time in college by keeping a tight schedule, and you might even learn something along the way.


  • TIP: Keep your schedule posted on a wall calendar where you can see it. Keep a sticky note nearby for changes or reminders so that you're always up to date.
  • Step 1: Remember to play. Though studying hard is good, you need to recharge regularly with breaks. Get in a game of ultimate Frisbee, play a video game, or go to a movie. Take power naps if your brain is fried and start fresh.
  • Step 2: Shun the distractions of your dorm, your bed, and any other spot that will only threaten your concentration. Get to a quiet place with a desk, a comfortable chair, and good light. A good environment can help you focus and use your time wisely.
  • FACT: Using just one hour per day to study independently, an average person can become an expert on a subject in 3 to 5 years.
  • Step 3: Study the hardest subject for a test first, rather than putting it off. Work on the most challenging material while your brain is fresh.
  • Step 4: Examine yourself and be brutal about your inefficient and self-defeating habits, and correct them.
  • Step 5: Make time to eat instead of getting food as an afterthought. It's good to work and study hard, but to have a balanced life and remain alert, you need fuel to run the brain.
  • Step 6: Study during the day in between classes, when your mind is still in that train of thought.
  • TIP: Think of a consistent schedule as the development of a productive habit that will serve you well later.
  • Step 7: Delegate tasks in study groups, even if you have to take over the team's direction to suggest how everyone can share responsibility. Avoid doing more than you need.
  • Step 8: Attend class on time. Be prepared early by studying a little before the day's work begins. An early start helps you be well-prepared and ready for discussions or pop quizzes.

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