The semester is in full swing, but you’re still trying to find the perfect balance of work and play. As fall break (yay!) and midterms (boo!) near, it is time to look at the assignments you have due, the amount of effort each will take, and how you are really using your time. Keep reading for some tips on the best ways to stay focused and on task while navigating the freedoms of your collegiate life.
Record Your Assignments
The first tip for staying on task is to record all of your major assignments as soon as you receive your class syllabi. Just choose your preferred method – calendar, bullet journal, app, etc. – and put them all in one place. This will help you have a better idea of how much time you will need to carve out for each assignment or how many days you will have to study for an exam. Recording everything in one place will also keep the panic level to a minimum when that first test pops up.
Another good tip, though difficult to follow at times, is to eliminate distractions (okay, your cell phone!). Conversations with friends, endless social media scrolls, and various games are in your hands at all times; however, there are several options to help keep the distractions from your phone to a minimum. One option is to set your phone to either “Do Not Disturb” or put it in Airplane mode, which will keep all your notifications from coming through (you could also just turn your phone on silent if you still want your alerts to pop up). Another option is to put your phone in a different room to remove the temptation when you start to lose focus. A third option is to go do your work someplace where using your phone would disturb other people (i.e., the library) so that you are accountable to other people as well as yourself.
Our third tip is to make sure to include some time in your schedule to give yourself breaks. Whether it’s to exercise, hang out with your friends, or just breathe, make the time for self-care. Burning out is easy to do in an atmosphere such as college where you are in charge of your entire schedule; the feeling like you’re falling behind is overwhelming and can come on quickly when you’re balancing 5 classes at one time. Keeping track of all of your assignments will help, but keeping track of your time in order to take a step back for a minute or two could help you even more.
College can be both an incredibly difficult and an incredibly fun time. Keeping yourself focused and on task will help you find not only that balance between the two, but also maintain it throughout your time in college. And who knows…maybe some of the habits you form to keep yourself on task will carry over into your professional life!