In the age of social media, it seems like college students are finding it extremely hard to manage their time well. It’s almost like 24 hours a day is never enough to do their tasks and find time to relax and just scroll through Instagram or Twitter feeds. However, there are a few activities that can actually help you manage your time better.
As young adults, we still have a lot of lessons we need to learn to help us in our future. During our college days, it’s time we learn about important skills such as time management. Knowing how to manage your time, you can easily be more productive.
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Time Management Activities For College Students
If you want to find a time management activity for students, there are things you should take note of. For one, you should find one that teenagers might find corny. Exploring their hidden or undiscovered talents can also help in making these simple time management exercises to be more fun and creative.
Here are a few activities and games you might want to try out to help you become more productive through time management.
1. Creating A Bullet Journal
One of the latest crazes from teenagers nowadays is creating bullet journals to help map out their time. This is a simple and creative way of scheduling your own time while also managing other aspects of your life.
A bullet journal can be used as a compilation of everything you need to do. You can have different sections or “spreads” in your journal notebook that can help you improve your time management skills.
What You’ll Need:
- A notebook that is fit for a bullet journal
- Some pens and highlighter
- Other art materials you may want to use
How To Create A Bullet Journal
1. Think of the spreads you may want to create. You can have a title page, monthly and weekly spreads, future log, budget page, goals spread, movies or TV shows to watch, and other things you need to track. There are people who also create meal trackers.
2. Go to Pinterest and find inspiration for your spreads. Then, you can create a template in your notebook. The most important part of the bullet journal to improve your time management skill is the scheduling spreads. This is the monthly and weekly spread where you can jot down your schedule.
3. At the start of the week, you can plan your week. Delegate each task you have for the week on the days you feel like you can do them.
4. At the start of each day, review the tasks you have for each day. Do as many tasks as you can and label them with a checkmark after you’re done with them.
5. When the day is finished, review your bullet journal. If you failed to accomplish a few tasks, don’t worry. You can just delegate them to your next available date.
How To Assess Your Bullet Journal
At the end of each week, you should see how you’ve done so far. Seeing a lot of checkmarks can make you feel more productive. However, if you see a lot of failed tasks, you might have to check how you’re scheduling your tasks.
If you keep on pushing tasks onto future dates, maybe you are overworking yourself on certain days of the week. For next week, try to balance out the task loads each day so that you won’t feel too burdened or swamped with work.
The good thing about a bullet journal is that you can make it your own. You can visit Pinterest boards for new ideas to help you maximize your bullet journal. As long as it serves its purpose, a visual tracker of all the tasks and your progress, you can easily manage your time better.
2. Using a Kanban Board
Do you have multiple projects with a lot of tasks for each project? Maybe finals are near and there’s a lot of deadlines looming in and you can’t focus on what task you should do first. In that case, maybe a Kanban board is what you need to improve your time management skills.
What You’ll Need:
- A corkboard or a whiteboard
- Sticky notepads
How To Create A Kanban Board
1. First, get a corkboard (whiteboard works fine as well) of the size you want. It can be big or small, as long as you have enough space to write your tasks.
2. Divide the corkboard into 3 columns. Label each column, to-do, doing, and done, respectively.
3. Set a color theme for each project you have. Then, write each task you have on a sticky note corresponding to the color of the project.
4. Put all the tasks under the to-do column. When you’re starting a task, move them to the doing column. Then, when it’s finished, put them in the done column.
5. Each day, check your board and see if you are lagging behind a certain project.
How To Assess Your Kanban Board
Keep in mind that you should keep a balance between the first two columns. There shouldn’t be too many tasks in the to-do column or doing column. This will help lighten your load of tasks each day.
Meanwhile, you should see that you are completing a steady number of tasks each week. This can easily be shown with how many tasks enter the third column.
Feel free to add new columns if you see fit. For example, for college students who have a lot of writing projects, you can do a Kanban board with topic, research, draft, edit, and submit columns instead. You can tailor it to whatever feels more comfortable for you.
There are also a lot of applications available for smartphones that you can use for your Kanban board. This makes it much easier for you to check your tasks wherever you are. It might be more beneficial to those who are always on the go.
3. The Mayo Jar Activity
This is a simple activity that anybody can do to remind themselves of the most important tasks in their lives. There’s a story behind the mayo jar activity that you can experience on your own once you do the activity.
What You’ll Need:
- A mayo jar, or any big jar of the same size
- Tennis balls, or any spherical-shaped objects of the same size. Alternatively, you can also use rocks or pebbles that can fit in your mayo jar
- Sand or gravel
You also have to note that there is a mayo jar activity kit you can easily buy online. You can do this if you don’t want to be hassled with finding the right object for this activity.
How To Do The Mayo Jar Activity
1. Imagine the mayo jar as your life. Meanwhile, the tennis balls represent the most important tasks. The sand, on the other hand, represents small tasks you have.
2. Your job is to fit all your tasks in the mayo jar.
3. You’ll quickly figure out that if you put the sands first, you will not have space for your tennis balls. However, if you put the tennis balls first, there’s plenty of space for your sand.
The Mayo Jar Lesson
Much like our lives, we have to know what goes inside the mayo jar first. If we keep on putting off important tasks and do smaller tasks first, it’s difficult to find the time to accomplish everything.
You can put your accomplished mayo jar in your study table to always remind yourself that you need to prioritize the right tasks first.
4. Calendar Blocking
Do you notice that you’re spending too much time on social media? Or perhaps you can’t find the time to study for your finals?
Well, there is a time management activity that you can do. This method is for the people who find themselves often procrastinating when the deadline is coming near.
It might be a good idea to start using calendar blocking to force yourself to stick to your schedule. This is one of the best time management activities for college freshmen as you are starting to adapt to your new schedule.
What You’ll Need:
- A daily planner with 30-minute interval timestamps. You can find free printable ones on the internet.
- Pen, highlighter, and colored pencils
How To Do Calendar Blocking
1. At the start of the week, block off your class schedule. Color the corresponding time with the colored pencil of your choice. Also, make sure that you give yourself 15 minutes before and after classes, or however much you need to travel back and forth.
2. Then, block off other hours that you need for self-care such as meals, bathing, and sleeping hours.
3. The blocks that are free can be used for other tasks you have. Fill them out with the ones that you need to accomplish your projects or study for your exams.
4. Make sure that you give yourself enough rest in between tasks so that you won’t feel too burdened.
5. Circadian Rhythm
Throughout the course of the day, our body seems to be following a schedule. We get hungry at around mealtimes. We get sleepy and we wake up at around the same time every day. This is because of our internal body clock that resets daily.
What You’ll Need:
- A piece of paper
- A pen
How To Take Advantage Of Your Circadian Rhythm
1. In your piece of paper, create a column of the time in a day, divided into 30-minute intervals. If you want to be more specific, feel free to do 15-minute intervals.
2. Add one more column for the tasks you are doing at that time of the day. Then, add another column for how productive you are feeling at that time.
3. The next day, record the day you woke up. Fill up the second and third columns as the day progresses. Finally, record the time you feel sleepy.
4. Assess your timesheet the following morning.
How To Assess Your Circadian Rhythm
Your brain dictates how your body should operate throughout the day. At certain hours of the day, your brain releases certain hormones that make you hungry, sleepy, or even productive. By looking at your timesheet, you get a general idea of what hours you should be doing work.
At the hours you feel productive, schedule some important tasks that need to be accomplished first. Meanwhile, you can schedule your lazy hours for your rest. You can spend it on watching your favorite Netflix series or even just catching up with your friends.
After rescheduling your hours, you can check again if a load of your tasks is now aligned with your circadian rhythm. If not, then you can always rearrange your schedule again.
Maximizing Your Activities
There’s a lot of time management activities for college students that you can do to hold yourself accountable for how you spend your hours. Each of the activities listed here has its own ways of improving your skill.
But, to maximize these activities, you can do them side by side.
For example, by knowing your circadian rhythm, you can properly use calendar blocking. This will maximize your productive hours while knowing how to schedule your tasks as a college student.
You can also use Kanban board and bullet journal together. In fact, there are some people who have a dedicated Kanban spread in their own bullet journals. You can just use smaller sticky notes so that they will fit your notebook. Alternatively, you can use cut-up construction paper and washi tape as a replacement for sticky notes.
The mayo jar on your desk can also be a good decoration along with your Kanban board. This can easily make your dorm room personalized.
There’s a lot of fun time management activities for college students that any teenager can do to improve how they manage their schedules. Plus, with the help of multiple apps and methods, it’s way easier to do so now more than ever. All you need to have is dedication and a little bit of effort and you’ll be on your way to becoming the most productive version of yourself.