Let’s Talk About…
Many new college students struggle fitting the time required for class meetings and assignments into their busy personal lives. We find that not only are ANU students pursuing their education full-time, but also working to support themselves and or their families. Time doesn’t really need to be managed, but humans do. Here are some tips from faculty, staff, and fellow students to help you through this transition!
1.Become Aware of How You Use Your Time
Becoming aware of how you normally spend your days will empower you to make the most out of your time. Try factoring in how long you normally sleep, when and how many times you eat, when you work, and how much free time you value with your friends and family. You should also evaluate how much time you are wasting—do you scroll almost endlessly through your social media timelines? Do you allow media or impulses to drive your attention span? What can you change to make better use of your time?
With this information, you should create a calendar as a visual of your schedule. Map out what you need to do (like eat and sleep), what must get done (like work projects and school assignments), and when you would like to spend your free time.
2. Make a List
Time-old advice will always tell you to make a to-do list to stay focused. However, taking time at the start of your week to write down all your need to/have to/should to/want to-dos is even better! We suggest taking the time to write it down on a physical piece of paper to empty your brain of your tasks. Write down every assignment you have, every work project, and every household chore, etc. Everything that is unfinished—write it down.
3. Calendar Your List and Manage Your Projects Effectively
If you completed the calendar based on your schedule as mentioned, add your task list to it! Prioritize what is most important to you. Give your newly scheduled task items a deliberate amount of time to be completed. For example, schedule an hour to do a discussion post for one of your classes, schedule five hours to complete a work project, or even schedule an hour to clean your kitchen. Hold yourself accountable to these times by reminding yourself that you will lose free time you scheduled previously—and no one wants to lose their free time to work/school projects.
4. Give Your Tasks Focus
No longer allow yourself to be distracted by media or impulses. Turn off your phone, shut off that tv show that you know you want to pay attention to, and turn off notifications that will divert your attention from what needs to be done.
5. Reward Yourself
Use your scheduled free time to reward yourself! Give yourself breaks to step away from your schoolwork or career projects—doing something unrelated can allow you to come back to work with a fresh perspective. For example, you can schedule an hour break to watch your favorite tv show, schedule fifteen minutes to scroll aimlessly through social media, or schedule five minutes to eat a snack. We see you working hard, you should relax just as much!
6. Reevaluate at the End of the Week
When you finish your work week or complete your classes and assignment for the week, return to your calendar. Did you fulfill the goals and tasks you scheduled? If you didn’t, take the time to reflect and make adjustments that you see fit to orient yourself to your goals. How can you help yourself get to your desired future?
Scheduling can be tedious to do, especially when it feels like you have so much to accomplish in the time you have. However, paying attention to your life and getting the most out of your time will help you achieve the goals that you have set for yourself, your education, and your career. It’s easy to start new tasks, but much harder to finish without clear direction. When you become aware of your use of time and learn to control it with deliberate dedication, you will find yourself achieving all that you want.
With over 130 years of educating students, American National University brings the university to you so that you can fulfill your task lists and schedules more efficiently than you would at other schools. With our High Tech, High Touch™ approach to your education, you can be live, in class, from anywhere. We offer much more than an “online” degree, we offer you an entire university—classes and resources to student services and more—from the comfort of your own home. Learn more about the services we can offer you anywhere you are at https://an.edu/elearning/.