Time Saving Tips

If you are a student with family responsibilities who is returning to college, or if you are trying to both attend college and work at a full- or part-time job, you will find these suggestions particularly valuable.

  1. Use the telephone. When you need information or must make an appointment, telephone rather than visit the office.

  2. Set priorities. There may be days or weeks when you cannot get every assignment done. Decide what is most important to complete immediately and which assignments could, if necessary, be completed later.

  3. Use spare moments. Think of all the time that you spend waiting. You wait for a class to begin, for a ride, for a friend to call, for a pizza to arrive. Instead of wasting this time, you could use it to review a set of lecture notes or work on review questions at the end of a chapter. Always carry with you something you can work on in spare moments.

  4. Learn to combine activities. Busy students soon learn that it is possible to combine some daily chores with routine class assignments. Some students, for example, are able to go to the laundromat and, while there, outline a chapter or work on routine assignments.

  5. Use lists to keep yourself organized and to save time. A daily "to do" list is helpful in keeping track of daily living/household tasks and errands as well as course assignments that need to be done. As you think of things to be done, jot them down. Then look over the list each morning and try to find the best way to get everything done.

  6. Do not be afraid to admit you are trying to do too much. If you find your life is becoming too hectic or unmanageable, or if you are facing pressures beyond your ability to handle them, consider dropping one course. Don’t be too concerned that this will put you behind schedule for graduation. Many college students take longer than the traditional time expected to earn their degrees.

A daily "to do" list, a weekly study schedule, and a monthly calendar are essential methods of organizing study time. Unfortunately, all this effort in creating them is useless if you waste the study time you have set aside. Unless you master the art of concentrating on your work, you will not be getting the most out of your study time. Concentration takes both desire and discipline, but you can learn to concentrate as intensively as required, even on dull or difficult material.