In the age of social media, college students find it extremely hard to manage their time well. It’s almost like 24 hours a day is never enough to do their tasks, find time to relax, and scroll through Instagram or Twitter feeds. However, a few activities can help you manage your time better.
As young adults, we still have a lot of lessons we need to learn to help us in the 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.
Time Management Activities For College Students
If you want to find a time management activity for students, you should take note of some things. For one, you should find one that teenagers might find corny. Exploring their hidden or undiscovered talents can also help make this simple time management exercises more fun and creative.
Here are a few activities and games you might want to try 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 to compile everything you need to do. You can have different sections or “spreads” in your journal notebook to 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. Some people 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 possible 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 delegate them to your next available date.
How To Assess Your Bullet Journal
You should see how you’ve done so far at the end of each week. 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 pushing tasks onto future dates, you may be overworking yourself on certain days of the week. For next week, try to balance the task loads each day so 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 are 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 project’s color.
4. Put all the tasks under the to-do column. When you’re starting a task, move them to the doing column. Then, please put them in the done column when it’s finished.
5. Each day, check your board and see if you lag 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 or do column. This will help lighten your load of tasks each day.
Meanwhile, you should see that you are completing a steady number of weekly tasks. This can easily be shown by 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 topics, 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 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
The mayo jar or also called Rocks Pebbles Sand 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 use rocks or pebbles that fit 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 sand 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 must first know what goes inside the mayo jar. If we keep putting off important tasks and do smaller ones first, finding the time to accomplish everything isn’t easy.
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 people who often procrastinate when the deadline is 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 they adapt to their new schedules.
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 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 free blocks can be used for other tasks you have. Please fill them out with the ones you need to accomplish your projects or study for your exams.
4. Make sure you give yourself enough rest between tasks so you won’t feel too burdened.
5. Circadian Rhythm
Throughout the day, our body seems to be following a schedule. We get hungry at around mealtimes. We get sleepy and 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. On 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 feel 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. Looking at your timesheet gives you a general idea of what hours you should be doing work.
Schedule some important tasks that need to be accomplished at the hours you feel productive. Meanwhile, you can schedule your lazy hours for your rest. You can spend it 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
You can do many time management activities for college students to hold themselves accountable for how they spend their hours. Each activity listed here has its ways of improving your skill.
But, to maximize these activities, you can do them side by side.
For example, you can properly use calendar blocking by knowing your circadian rhythm. This will maximize your productive hours while knowing how to schedule your tasks as a college student.
You can also use the Kanban board and bullet journal together. Some people have a dedicated Kanban spread in their bullet journals. You can use smaller sticky notes so that they will fit your notebook. Alternatively, you can use cut-up construction paper and washi tape to replace 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 are 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 than ever. All you need is dedication and a little effort, and you’ll be on your way to becoming the most productive version of yourself.