Student POV: Developing Effective Time Management as a College Student

Time is one of the most precious gifts in this life – it can’t be bought, and it can’t be recovered. But most importantly, time is given by God. Every person has a responsibility to use this gift wisely because time is the essence of life. College students face unique challenges in this responsibility. They’re employees and students. They’re athletes and musicians. They’re roommates and friends. With so many commitments and people to consider, finding time for everything is difficult.

Sadly, many people waste time, especially in college. Blaming a busy schedule for one’s failure in time management is tempting, but if students are honest, they will admit that they could use their time better. Understanding this challenge is the first step, but what is the solution? Implementing manageable routines into your day and understanding key concepts is a start to efficiently managing your time.


The first step in effective time management is having a plan. Carefully plan out your schedule every week. As students juggle multiple time commitments, they need structure to succeed. Keeping a list of assignments, work schedules, and meetings is not a choice – it is essential.  Almost every student has dealt with disappointment after discovering a late homework assignment. Tracking all time commitments in a convenient location can help prevent this problem. Use your Outlook calendar or buy a planner. Whatever option you choose, make it simple and convenient.

Scheduling your time may seem boring or restrictive. But when you commit to a schedule, you will find more opportunities to do what you want to do. Remain faithful now to complete the tasks at hand. Someday, you will be blessed for your hard work and diligence.


Effective time management can only exist with prioritization. There are only twenty-four hours in a day and this time constraint forces students to prioritize their commitments. At times, it may seem impossible to complete everything on your list. Focus on the task that is most important at that moment. If you take each commitment one at a time, stress and discouragement will lessen.

Organize your tasks based on urgency. Even if you want to complete a less urgent task first, decide to stay on track. It’s normal to look at everything on your to-do list and feel overwhelmed. Work on each task one step at a time, and resist feeling discouraged.


Work and school should only be a portion of your focus. Life, even in college, is about more than work and academics. Making time for creative and social outlets is vital. Without these outlets, commitments will become frustrating and overwhelming. Human beings need time for creativity.

Quality time with friends and family is also an essential part of balance. Forming friendships is a core benefit of the college experience. Opportunities to get to know other students are everywhere. You can’t get through four stressful years without classmates, friends, and family.

Balance, however, must be maintained on all sides. Make sure you schedule enough time for work, academics, creativity, and relationships. When you carefully plan your schedule, you will be surprised by how many commitments can fit into one day. Scheduling seems restrictive, but it is one of the only practical ways to true freedom.


Finally, students must learn flexibility. Unplanned events or problems often thwart well-laid plans. Learning how to bend according to new circumstances is a game changer. Life is messy. Some plans will inevitably fall apart, so learning how to respond and adapt to make the best of each situation is essential. Sometimes shifting commitments and reprioritizing are the only ways to realign goals.

The ability to change plans based on the situation is a valuable skill. This skill fosters patience and openness to new possibilities. Look at each day as an adventure. When you look at life through this lens, difficult circumstances come into focus.

Every day is a gift. Regardless of what each day brings, respond with the knowledge that time comes from God. He has given us everything that we have, so we must make the most of every day.  When you understand the gravity of this truth, you will begin the path toward true success. So schedule, prioritize, remain balanced, be flexible and faithful.

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