Time Management for College Students - Do This, Not That!

Effective time management for college students gravely impacts how your college experience can feel.  Whether you live on campus, commute, or study full-time or part-time, specific time management tips to juggle your life-balance are extremely necessary. The great news is that it's easy to create a schedule that supports your goals, personal life, and other responsibilities while in college.  

As college counselors, we also know that college students have little 'extra' time.   So, we created a list called "Do This, Not That - for College Students" that addresses key time management strategies and tips that college students can begin using now.  

Our Favorite College Student Time Management Strategies

 Do This!


 Not That!


Got a great 'Do This, Not That' tip? Post it by clicking here!

Successful Students....

  • Act with intention, making choices that move them towards their goals and dreams.
  • Apply self-management strategies, regularly plan and carry-out purposeful actions, and create the experience they want. 
  • Meet with a college counselor or adviser each semester to create and monitor an 'exit plan' that's on track with their goals.
  • Register for classes early, to create a schedule of classes that best 'fits' with their preferences, and meets their completion goals.
  • Are persistent, and use college resources to overcome challenges, and get support from counselors and faculty.
  • Meet professors during office hours for help, clarification, or touching-base.
  • Make respectful requests.
  • Participate in campus activities to network with professors students, and clubs with similar interests. 
  • Complete homework and participate in study groups while on campus. When possible, complete homework between classes while it's fresh on their mind.
  • Contact their professors in advance of an absence from class and complete work within an agreed-upon time-frame. 
  • Clarifies and Knows.

Struggling Students....

  • Wait passively for something to 'happen,' or circle around one unmindful task to another.
  • Live disorganized, unplanned lives, constantly responding to whims of the moment, and become the victim of circumstances. 
  • Register for classes based on what parents, other students, and friends 'think' is right. Usually find-out later a class doesn't 'count.'
  • Select classes at the end of a registration period, ending up with a schedule of inconvenient classes, or classes without interest.
  • Quit, change plans, or drop classes when their actions don't lead to immediate success.
  • Avoid contacting professors outside of class, or approach professors during class to address challenges.
  • Complain.
  • Go at it alone, 'hang-out' with like-minded friends, and avoid clubs or meeting new groups of students. 
  • Put-off homework until the last minute, submit work late, and is often 'surprised' by upcoming assignment due dates, deadline, or poor grades. 
  • Skip class or contacts professors after class when absent.  Assumes missed class work can be submitted late instead of clarifying late policy.
  • Assumes.

Have A Fun "Do This -Not That" Tip? Write Yours Here!

Are you a student or professor with a great time management tip? If so, share it here on our "Do This-Not That!" forum!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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go to class Not rated yet
Do This: Go to class if you don't like your class. Just do it and stop thinking about not wanting to go. You'll feel better if you just go. No That: …

Consider your goals Not rated yet
Do This: Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to to take on additional work. Not That: Do not overload of yourself with meaningless work …

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The tips listed above is a growing list of real-world help on time management for college students.   What's clear is that no other person will 'be' you as a student, or 'do' your work for you.  Unless college students create better experience as time managers, the life-stress of just 'being' a student can de-rail their goals.

Procrastination is another major topic relating to time management for college students, which is covered in countless ways throughout this website.   Be sure to find your Time Manager Type to help you better understand your natural strengths in college, visit our article database, and practice some of our fun time management games - all designed to help you enjoy more freedom and improve your time!

In sum, being a student is not hard. What's hard is being a student without effective time management strategies in place that support your graduation goals quickly and effectively.


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