THE BLOG
07/07/2014 12:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

4 Ways to Manage Your Time Successfully

This blog post was written by Intern Queen Campus Ambassador Courtney Brownsworth, from Iowa State University

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Time is money, they say, and unfortunately for college students we have neither time nor money. Whether it be the overwhelming desire to have it all or an inability to wisely manage our time, college students seem to never have enough of three things: time, money and sleep. Early-morning lectures and weekly writing labs, supporting oneself through work, combined with on-campus obligations are enough to keep any college student busy. Add on top of that involvement in the Greek community and still trying to find time for a social life and that was my sophomore year of college. Oh yeah, and I was trying to get good grades.

Here were my four biggest takeaways on how to successfully manage your time:

1. Write everything down: Although you think you will remember everything, trust me... you won't. Nothing quite compares to the horror of arriving to an 8 a.m. class and realizing you forgot about the day's in-class quiz. Buy a planner and write down everything - meetings, homework due dates, your work schedule, even when you want to go to the gym or spend time with friends. This will help you budget your time and realistically set goals for the day.

2. Prioritize: Try as you might, you won't always have time for everything and everyone. Prioritize which tests, projects, and homework you need the most time for. Decide which friends are most important to you. You might not have time for everyone and sometimes it's necessary to focus on maintaining certain friendships over others.

3. Don't be afraid to say no: It's okay to tell your friends you can't go out that night because you need to stay in to study for your test the next morning. You shouldn't agree to pick up extra shifts at work, or take on another club project if your plate is already full. Know your limits, and don't bite off more than you can chew.

4. Don't procrastinate: Avoid Netflix; it really is a college student's worst enemy. Procrastination makes an easy test hard, and a hard test even harder. You don't get more time by letting it go by without doing anything. Budget your time and get things done early so you have time for other things later on. Look at deadlines and work backwards from there.

There is a delicate balance to it all, but time management is a useful skill that needs to be developed for both collegiate and professional success. College is that much easier for students that develop these skills early on and can maximize their experiences.