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One thing is for certain: college is a whole lot different than high school! The work is harder, and there are a lot more “temptations” to distract you.

If you’re like many college students these days and need to hold down a part-time job, the demands on your time are even greater. College may also represent the first time you’ve been on your own, so Mom and Dad won’t be around to keep you in line!

So how can you be sure you will have enough time to devote to your academic and work activities while still being able to have a little fun now and them? The following time management tips can help you make your entire college experience as productive and rewarding as possible.

Block Your Classes

Rather than spreading your classes throughout the day, consider scheduling them back-to-back. You’ll avoid those gaps between classes that are often spent on unproductive activities such as surfing the Web or posting on Facebook. You’ll also find that you’ll have larger blocks of time available for studying, working or hanging out with your friends.

Write It Down

Once you have pinned down your class schedule for the semester, create a written schedule that encompasses every waking minute of the day. This will help to ensure you have time for everything you need to accomplish while still having time for fun.

As a very general rule of thumb, figure on two hours of study time for every hour of classroom/lecture time, but be sure to allow for some flexibility so you can make adjustments as needed. Any remaining time can be spent working, playing or however you see fit!

Don’t Skip Classes

Who doesn’t hate the sound of a blaring or beeping alarm clock at 7 a.m.! While skipping a class to sleep in feels great in the short term, it just means you’ll have to spend extra time trying to make up for what you’ve missed. If you’re just one of those people who doesn’t like rising with the roosters, consider scheduling your class block so that it starts a little later in the day.

Break It Down

Waiting until the last minute to start on a large project or long term paper can throw your entire schedule out of whack — not to mention the high level of anxiety it creates! Begin to work on these major tasks as soon as they are assigned.

You’ll find that simply by spending a small portion of each daily study period on big projects, they will be much easier to manage from a time standpoint. The quality of the finished product will also be better than when you try to do a rush job.

Learn to Say No

Your roommates or friends may want you to stop what you’re doing and have a little fun, or your employer might ask you to pick up an extra shift now and then. Make it clear exactly when you will be available for socializing or work, and learn to say no if a scheduling conflict arises.

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