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5 Steps to Help Manage Time Between School and Work

Published on February 13, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman

Submitted by Kendra Ivancic, a student in the business program at Broadview University.

business program

Kendra Ivancic, a business program student at Broadview University, decided to give being the Queen of Procrastination the thumbs down, and gave time management tips the thumb up. Her lesson= know when to say no—and when to say yes.

Pro·cras·ti·nate: to put off till another day or time; defer; delay. “I’ll totally have time to do my homework later.” “I can put this off for one more day.” “Crap, my assignment is due tomorrow and I haven’t even started!” One simple four syllable word can easily become the biggest threat to your college career, especially if, like the majority of students, you are working a job while getting your degree.  I have prepared a list of five simple (I promise, they’re not that bad) tips to help students manage their time better in order to be more successful in their schooling career.

I know what some of you reading this might be thinking, “Why is the queen of procrastination giving people tips on time management?” Trust me; I’ve thought the same exact thing. But being a professional procrastinator has caught up to me, and to be frank, it’s kicking my butt. I have decided to put my procrastination days to an end and I’m going to share with you how I plan to do it.

Step #1: Organize!
I have found that it is much easier for me to keep on track with my assignments when they are organized into what is due, and when. When each quarter starts, you get a syllabus in each class outlining what the assignments are and when they are due. This is an awesome tool, but you can make an even better one. Take your syllabus from each class you are taking and make a page for every week in the quarter. On each week, write down what assignments are due for what class (also write when you need to study). This trick has helped me immensely. You look at one sheet of paper and know what you need to do for all of your classes that week.

Step #2:  Plan!
I know, this sounds a lot like organizing, but it’s different, I promise. Pick a day of the week (I’ll use Sunday for this example), and write down your work and school schedule. Notice the little blank spaces of free time and schedule some homework in there! I have found that setting aside specific time to do homework helps me get it all done. There is one drawback though; you have to stick to it!

Step #3:  Learn to Say No!
Life is made up of more than just school and work. There is also family, friends, animals, and many more things to distract you from getting your work done. It is all too easy to put off homework to go partake in something fun, but it’s not very productive. When you are planning out your schedule, make sure to include “fun” time for yourself. Friends proved to be my biggest factor in my motivation. It was hard, but I finally started saying “no” to participating in their shenanigans and instead stayed home to work on school. This rule also applies to work; just because they ask you to cover another employee’s shift doesn’t mean you have to. Just tell yourself, “It’s okay to tell people no.”

Step #4:  Reward Yourself!
Who doesn’t like a nice treat after hard work? That’s right, no one. After you finish your day of homework make sure to treat yourself to something nice, whether it be some ice cream or an hour of video games. This will also motivate you to actually do your homework, especially if you just bought a new video game and are dying to play it. If you’re having trouble getting through your reading, place a gummy bear every few paragraphs and don’t let yourself eat it until you reach it. This is dually beneficial, because you want the gummy bear and will read to get it, and after a dozen or two gummy bears, well, hello sugar rush! Just make sure you actually earn your reward before you partake in it.

Step #5:  Stay Healthy!
I know, I know, this tip seems obvious and sounds like an everyday sort of tip, but it is imperative to being accomplished when your life is so busy. This isn’t just physical health either; mental health plays a huge role in success. Here are some simple tips to staying healthy:

I have been practicing these tips myself for the past couple of quarters, and as trivial as they may seem (even to myself), they have helped me immensely while trying to juggle my life between school, work, and a social life.

This blog post is part of a hands-on learning project for the Consumer Behavior class at Broadview University-Boise. Seven students total will write about their personal college experiences and share them with the world. Read more about the project here.

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