Time Management Tricia Williams, Hannah Brown, Emmy Reynolds, and Renee Suchy

What is Time Management?
"Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity" (Dictionary.com).
Why is Having Good Time Management Important?

1. Time is limited

2. You can accomplish more with less effort

3. Improved decision making ability

4. Become more successful in your career

5. Reduces stress

6. Teaches self-discipline

Effects of Poor Time Management

As humans, we all have our own busy lives and sometime struggle to juggle everything that is going on. Having good time management skills makes day to day life much easier and allows us to organize everything in our lives in a simpler manner. Some effects of bad time management include inefficiency, wasted time, missed deadlines, and poor quality work. If you do not have effective time management, you will end up jumping around from task to task, and sacrificing quality in exchange for speed. If you do not have a schedule where you have prioritized your tasks, you are prone to miss a deadline eventually. As you can tell, there are no positive effects of poor time management, therefore, we should all work towards excelling in time management skills.

Effects of College Life on Time Management Skills
  • In a Spring 2015 Student Engagement Insights survey done by Cengage, they college students questions about their time-management habits and about 3,000 students responded
  • The first question read: “Do you struggle more with time management now than you did in high school?” The votes were split almost in half, with a slight majority saying that yes, they do find that it’s harder to manage their time in college.
  • About 88% of students said that they have changed their methods of managing their time since coming to college. Many students said that the experience is not necessarily more difficult, it’s just different.
  • To better understand why students feel time management is more difficult (or, in fact, easier) in college than in high school, we also asked them: “What differences have you felt between managing time in high school and college?”
  • There was a large spectrum of different responses, ranging from: “it’s easier in college,” to “nothing, it’s the same” to “managing my time in college is ten times more difficult”. All in all, students noted that college has pushed them to improve their time-management skills (Strang).
Why do so many students struggle with it?

College students are not only at school to get an education. There are so many opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities during college, and many students take advantage of them. A study done a Stanford University revealed that 62.4% of students are involved in activities outside the classroom, including volunteer work, clubs, sports teams and others. It’s also no secret that college is extremely expensive, so many students work along with taking classes to help pay for their tuition. Georgetown University declared that 70% of their students held paying jobs during the school year (Strahota). Many students struggle with balancing meetings and games and social events with the hours of homework and assignments they receive. Depending on the major and number of credit hours a student is taking, the workload will vary, however students spend an average of 17 hours a week preparing for classes (studying, homework, assignments etc). The rest of the week is often split between friends, jobs, and other responsibilities. Freshmen generally struggle more with time management than older students because high school had more structure and students had less responsibilities, so the amount of free time and opportunities is often overwhelming. Over the course of the four years, students gain skills on how to better manage their time between school and social obligations.

Tips for Better Time Management
1. Manage academic time- Make sure that you plan time each and every day to complete your academic “to-dos”. As college students, our main priority here at Clemson is to learn, therefore we should never sacrifice our grades for anything else.
2. Manage Personal Time- Personal time is vital in order to keep yourself sane. It is very unrealistic to think that all you can do every day is go to class, study, and do homework. As important as academic time is, personal time is just as important. Make sure you plan things in your everyday life that make you happy and help you stay motivated. Whether you enjoy exercising, hanging out with friends, painting, whatever it may be, don’t forget to make time for that too.

Tricia: When first coming to Clemson, I quickly realized the importance of time management in my everyday life as a student. Back in high school, I was used to juggling school work, friends, family, extracurriculars, volunteering, work, and more. Time management was not a completely “new” concept to me, but it was definitely different than high school. As a college student, your main priority is school. You come to school to do one thing, which is learn. Of course there are many other distractions in day to day life, but I did not have nearly as many activities as I did in high school. After the first round of exams, I had sort of a “wake up call” and realized that I was not managing my time as wisely as I could. I started to prioritize, and put the most important things first in my life, rather than pushing them to the side. Slowly but surely, I have learned how to effectively manage my time. Although it is easy to procrastinate and push away your responsibilities, after a few weeks at school it will become easier and easier. Every individual approaches time management in their own way, therefore, find a way that works best for you, and use it in the best way possible!

3. Keep health in mind - As college students, we are constantly told we need to sleep sleep sleep. A lack of sleep is detrimental to the way that you think and perform in your classes. It can cause your mental health, physical health, and your stress level to be unhealthy. Remember to take the time every day to eat, exercise, and of course, sleep.
4. Make use of all available resources - Developing a system to live by will help you immensely with your time management. We all operate in different ways, so find what works for you and use it. Here at Clemson, we have so many resources available to us that are supposed to make our lives easier. For example, every semester, there is a peer-led, effective time management workshop held in the Academic Success Center that helps you identify time management strategies. Aside from this, the ASC has so many helpful resources like tutors and a writing center, that we should all utilize as much as we possibly can.
5. Make a to-do list - You may think that to-do lists seem old school, but they are actually one of the key parts in having effective time management. List the most important tasks firsts, allot time for everything that needs to get done, and tackle them one by one. Include “fun” things on your to-do list as well, like watching that one funny YouTube video you’ve been meaning to watch. This gives you something to look forward to in the midst of all the other tasks!

Hannah: I, personally, make lots and lots of to-do lists. Every time a new due date, of any kind, for school work is given I write it down in my planner. Whenever I have social events or other plans besides school work I also write that down so I know when I can and cannot do things. I make sure to save and block off time to study and do my school work by making separate lists of what I aim to accomplish and complete everyday. You just have to prioritize and know when you have time to do things and when you do not.

6. Don’t be afraid to say no - For some us, it is hard to resist going out to dinner with friends, or saying no when someone asks you to do a favor. But in reality, sometimes the time is just not there. If you have a big test the next morning, you don’t have time to go out to dinner which you know will end up a two hour ideal. There is no harm in simply saying no sometimes, especially when it is necessary.

Emmy: I think the most important thing that I learned about time management would be to learn to say no. Starting a new school all you want to do is go out and try and make as many friends as possible but then the school work starts piling up and stress goes through the roof. Learning to say no to going out sometimes and putting school work first really helped in the long run with time management. Having an entire night to do homework or whatever productive thing that day or night really makes a difference in the long run and has really helped with the stress of time management.

7. Find your most productive time of day - Figure out if you’re a morning bird or night owl, and utilize that productive time in the best way that you can. If you know your brain shuts down after 10PM, don’t waste that valuable time that could be used sleeping!

Renee: Throughout this year I have learned that I need to finish all my work before 10 or 11 p.m. By that time I'm tired and bound to be unproductive with any school work that I have. It took me a little while to figure everything out, but now I know that my most productive time of the day is mid to late afternoon, and if I sit down to do work, I will actually accomplish the things I need to. This has really helped me plan and organize my schedule so that I give myself time to do work during my most productive hours, and leave other social obligations to the other times.

8. Don’t get sidetracked - Getting sidetracked and procrastinating is a huge problem with the majority of college students. Especially with today’s technology and social media, it is easy to forget what is truly important. If you find yourself getting distracted by things that are unimportant, stop, check your to-do list, and remember why you prioritized the things at the top of the list.

Works Cited

"8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time." 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time - High School and College. College Board, 2017. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

Alexander, Roy and Michael Singer Dobson. Real-World Time Management. Vol. 2, AMACOM, 2009. WorkSmart. EBSCOhost. Web. 17 Apr. 2017

Lucia, Kelli Lynn. "Learn to Manage Your Time in College." Higher Education. U.S.News, 5 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Matthews, Kendall E. "Why Time Management Is Important." Scheduling Software by AppointmentPlus. Appointment Plus, n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

Murphy, Christine. "Time Management (Peer-led)." Clemson University. Academic Success Center, Feb. 2017. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

Ocak G, Boyraz S. “Examination of the Relation between Academic Procrastination and Time Management Skills of Undergraduate Students in Terms of Some Variables.” Journal Of Education And Training Studies. May 1, 2016. 76-84. ERIC, Ipswich, MA. 17 Apr 2017. Education And Training Studies. May 1, 2016. 76-84. ERIC, Ipswich, MA. 17 Apr 2017.

Strahota, Hilary. "Seventy Percent of College Students Work While Enrolled, New Georgetown University Research Finds." Georgetown University (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

Strang, Tami. "Effects of College Life on Students’ Time-Management Skills." Engagement and Motivation, Student Engagement. Cegage, 2015. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.

"Time management." Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2017.


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