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  • A view of an area of academic buildings on the Washington State University campus crowded with students walking to class.

    Time: The Most Valuable Constant

    Bryson Sleeper

    Time. It’s always moving, but also never kept close track of. Yet, it’s one of the most complained about and concerning metrics known to mankind. In today’s day and age everyone seems to “need just a few more minutes”.

    As college students we are constantly in conversation regarding the mountain of work we must cram into the day or the busy schedule we have this week. With so many distractions in a young person’s college life it is almost impossible to be able to do everything. I’m here to tell you if there is a will, there’s a way. With the right tools and mindset on how to go about your week you should have no problem doing those extra things like joining that club, going out with your friends, or my personal favorite taking those random days off just to relax and have your “me time” that you so desperately need.

    Set Realistic Goals

    To succeed with time management, you need to start with being realistic with yourself. Analyze and look at your school schedule, possible work hours, and social life along with any other activities your involved in. Ask yourself how much time each of these take out of your week. Be very honest with yourself and rank these by priority. Then add about 2 hours to that original estimate to make up for distractions, travel time, and maybe just brain breaks in between a longer work session.

    Assess Sleep Schedule and Routine

    Take a look at your sleep schedule. Is it consistent? Are you a morning person? How much sleep can you function on consistently? After these questions are answered, make a routine schedule. What this means is to create a small routine that you can start off committing to. This should be attainable but something that’s going to improve your daily productivity.

    For example, I wake up 3 hours before my first class. I use the first hour to shower, get ready, and eat something to fuel my day. The next 2 hours I walk to the library and go through all my emails and start on homework. This has been a life changing adjustment and has increased my mental and physical health as well as my GPA. Having this time 5 out of the 7 days of the week has helped me to get ahead on my classes and work schedule. I feel much more accomplished as I have granted myself private work time to get ahead on school assignments and important email correspondence. This leaves my free time in the afternoon to assess my next day’s work and feel like I’m prepared for tomorrow versus feel like I’m procrastinating and pushing work off.

    Improve As You Go

    Once you commit and dedicate yourself to a more improved routine, I think most lives can be changed for the better. Over the past two years in college, I have noticed my peers in their struggling sleep schedules and sporadic morning routines in a rush to get to places on time.

    I have simply transferred this small list of tips and tricks from my busy high school schedule over to my college lifestyle and it has helped tremendously. I have decreased my stress levels for larger class activities meanwhile increasing my much-needed social free time with these few simple rules I’ve set for myself.

    The immediate results in health, grades, and quality of work from this routine change will motivate you to continue this challenge. This realization is my new superpower in my intense college experience that I have learned to love and hope that those of you reading this will attempt to implement in the near future.

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