As a wise wizard once said, “Time is making fools of us again.”

Dumbledore, with some help from J.K. Rowling of course, was spot on with his observation of time and how easily it can escape us when we are not paying attention.

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The ability to manage time properly and efficiently will serve you well during college. Your classes, work and social life will all demand your time but with a few tips you can easily make the most of your time.

1. Set a schedule.

A schedule will help you stay on task and put your mind at ease.

If you have never needed schedules, or just haven’t used them, then a good place to start is writing down your class times and, if you do work, your shifts.

Then, around these two set activities, pencil in time for other activities you would like to or need to accomplish during the day. Remember nothing is too silly to schedule, pencil in nap times or TV time if you need to.

2. Get up earlier.

It may be tempting to sleep in, especially if you have late class, but do not underestimate how much can be accomplished in those few hours before the rest of the world gets going.

And since I know not everyone is a morning person, we are sort of annoying, if it isn’t feasible to be up early every morning, because of work or school, at least try to get up early one day of the week.

Those extra couple of hours can be used to complete any work that may have been shoved aside during the week.

3. Focus on one task at a time.

This might sound unreasonable in today’s world where we are expected to do several things at once, but trust me when I say it will help.

When you put all your effort into the task at hand you are more likely to finish quickly and efficiently.

Of course you can take breaks if needed but do not let these breaks turn into long, drawn-out distractions. Stay focused and on task so that you finish when you need to.

4. Give yourself a buffer day.

When penciling due dates into your schedule (you should have your schedules out at this point you know) don’t underestimate the importance of giving yourself a buffer day.

If an assignment is due on Friday then plan on having it done Thursday. This might seem like too much work, at times it is, but if you start ahead you will stay ahead.

When Thursday is over you will have your work done for Friday and can rest easy. Also if other responsibilities arise you will have peace of mind that you still have an extra day to complete your tasks.

5. Prioritize your day.

At the beginning of each day decide what is most important to get done and make that a priority.

If you think that your paper can be written tomorrow but you need to study for your exam tonight, then put that paper on the back burner and knock out the important stuff first.

Once you’ve studied for the exam you can tackle the rest of your to-do-list at your leisure.

With these tips in mind you should feel more prepared to tackle that daunting fall semester with confidence. And, last but not least, remember to use some of your time to enjoy yourself, you are in college after all.

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