Expert in time management gives advice

A crucial skill to learn while in college is time management, however that doesn't come easy to everyone. Olivia Martin | Photo Editor

By Briana Garcia | Reporter

Dr. Sara Perry — an associate professor at Baylor University who has studied stress and time management — and a handful of other researchers provide tips and information about time management for students who are new to the college setting.

“I usually recommend sitting down at the beginning of the week and looking over what is due, what is coming up, and prioritizing what you need to get done by when and actually putting everything into your schedule,” Perry said.

Perry said many students use a paper planner. She recommends taking the extra step of writing more specific time frames in your planner. For example, you can write, “From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., I will work on my math assignment, and then from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., I will finish my religion homework.”

“If you can schedule your day that way, you’re much more accountable to actually do what you’re planning to do,” Perry said.

Perry said adopting the discipline of doing something little every day adds up to be much more in the future. If you work on something for hours in one day, you might already feel like you put in enough effort for the week.

“Doing little bits each day really helps,” Perry said. “Break it down into pieces, set it in your calendar, and then you have a plan.”

Monique Felix, a character formation coordinator, teaches how structure is essential for students to learn when they graduate from high school and begin their college journeys.

“In high school, you’re usually busy from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Felix said. “In college, you might have classes from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and have an hour break until you go back to class.”

In a Learning Scientist article, Althea Need Kaminske said the key difference that new college students experience when transitioning from high school to college is structure, as students’ time in high school was managed by other people.

In the article, Kaminske said that parents help them wake up on time, while schools provide consistent daily routines and extracurriculars that structure their days. When students are on their own in college, they can find themselves wrapped up in the lack of structure and could be making the wrong choices in their free time.

“Creating a structured schedule for a new student will help them put their priorities first and help them develop good habits on how they handle their time,” Perry said.

Perry said the better you manage your time, the less stress you will have. Time is a resource, and managing your time well will put fewer demands on yourself.

A Stress Management Society article said time management helps you increase your productivity and reduce long-term stress by giving you direction when you have too much to do.

“If you have a good handle on your time and you’re using it well, you won’t be as affected by those stressors because you are on top of those things,” Perry said.