Proper management of time is an invaluable skill

Brittany Kokoszka

Is an all-nighter in college ever truly “necessary” ? At first, it seems easy to insist adamantly that all-nighters are often the only way to cope with a hefty workload. However, after closely analyzing a college student’s situation and weighing the options present, all-nighters may not be unavoidable at all costs. 

     When logically evaluating the question concerning all-nighters, it should first be noted that students receive syllabi with test, project and assignment dates and requirements at the beginning of each semester. Consequently, it is the student’s responsibility to keep track of these dates and decide how to successfully fulfill all of the tasks, even if they appear unbearable at times. Since all of the dates are clearly laid out with plenty of time to be completed, an all-nighter should not be considered a frequent and fundamental part of college.

     To make certain that classwork is finished in a timely manner without pulling an all-nighter and while being involved in sports, clubs, community service, work-study, internships or any other commitments—along with having an existent and adequate social life—there are a few guidelines that should be closely followed. 

      But before deciding how to manage time, it is remarkably valuable to attain an academic planner and more importantly—use it efficiently and daily. By simply writing down assignment due dates, events, meetings and other social activities, it makes time management feasible and approachable. After all of the dates are clearly written in the planner, the task of time management can be effectively tackled. 

     The most significant among the guidelines is to understand that college is intended for a beneficial education. Therefore, setting aside appropriate time for homework and studying, and making it a first priority is crucial. Try to gauge how much time will be needed for writing a paper, working on a group project, or studying for an exam. By doing this, it will be easy to section off times in the day for specific subjects. Specifically for exams, try to review new notes taken in class every day and continue to reread previous notes, in order to gradually ingrain the information necessary, instead of cramming endless information the night before a big exam.

     When studying and doing schoolwork, it is exceptionally helpful to shut off cell phones in order to avoid answering texts going on social media and surfing the Internet. Cell phones are one of the biggest culprits for wasting time because they are readily accessible and addictive. Every 15 seconds it takes to respond to a text and every five minutes spent scrolling through Twitter and Instagram feeds are times that consecutively add up during the day and could have been spent finishing schoolwork or studying material, thus establishing free time for later. Generally speaking, the only output from procrastination is unnecessary stress due to uncompleted tasks and wasted time.  

It is also imperative to avoid the incredibly difficult temptation to go out with friends if schoolwork gets in the way. 

     There are plenty of weekends to go out with friends, but each exam and assignment has only one specific date. Is one night of fun that could be had another night worth sacrificing a higher, more respectable grade on an exam or paper that will only be completed once?

Another guideline to follow for appropriate time management is to get plenty of rest each night. Spending excessive time on a cell phone or watching TV for hours before going to sleep may seem like an admirable idea at the time, but its effects will not be  appreciated the following day. Lack of sleep leads to difficulty focusing and attaining information, therefore leading to decreased productivity and efficiency.    

     Wasting time doing irrelevant things that prevent one from proper sleep will only hamper activity the next day, resulting in more wasted time that could have been spent fulfilling tasks in a timely matter. 

      For instance, trying to study for an exam by reading information and not retaining it because the energy to do so is nonexistent accomplishes nothing and  continues to waste time.  With sufficient sleep, tasks are completed with full energy, thus enhancing performance and effectively utilizing time.

     In terms of extracurricular clubs and sports, only take on what is realistically manageable. Essentially, focus attention on two or three worthwhile clubs, or a club and a sport, instead of joining multiple clubs and trying to juggle excessive tasks. Deciding what is important is the fundamental objective of time management. 

     It is more helpful to be passionately involved and committed to a few clubs, then to be slightly involved in multiple clubs. As with schoolwork, set aside time as needed for club meetings and events, and/or sport games and practices.

     The time left over from efficiently managing time can be devoted to a social and personal life. 

There will always be time to spend with friends or alone, as long as time performing other tasks is not wasted and time is sectioned accordingly. 

Being cautious with time should be treated in the same respect as being frugal spending money. 

     The way time and money are spent will result in costs, but as long as they are spent wisely, the benefits will outweigh the costs. 

     And always remember, although it seems there is never enough time, time is indeed endless and controllable with proper prioritizing.