Managing Your Time Like a Pro: College Edition

By Inland Empire Success | June 18, 2024

Imagine this: You’re a new college student, excited about starting your classes, but as the weeks go by, you begin to feel overwhelmed. There’s so much to do! Between classes, assignments, and trying to have a social life, it feels like there’s never enough time. Sound familiar? 

That’s where time management comes in. Learning to manage your time can make college life easier and a lot less stressful. It’s all about making the most of your days and finding a balance that works for you. 

At IE Success, we’re here to help students in the Inland Empire succeed in college. We know managing your time well is a big part of that success, so let’s dive into some tips and tricks for you to manage your time like a pro! 

Why Time Management Matters in College 

College is really different from high school. In high school, your day was probably fairly structured with back-to-back classes and teachers reminding you about assignments. In college, you have more freedom. Your classes might be spread out, and you have more control over how you spend your time. But with freedom comes responsibility. 

You may find yourself juggling multiple classes, large assignments, and extracurricular activities while trying to make time for friends and family. It can be challenging to keep up with everything. 

Good time management can make a huge difference. When you manage your time well, you can earn better grades, feel less stressed, sleep better, and even have more free time to do the things you enjoy. It’s all about finding a balance and making sure you use your time in the best way possible. 

Becoming a Time Management Master 

Goal Setting: 

Setting goals is the first step to managing your time well. Think about what you want to achieve each semester, each week, and even each day. 

For example, you might set a goal to finish reading a chapter of your textbook by the end of the day, complete a research paper by the end of the week, or maintain a certain GPA for the semester. Goals help you stay focused and give you something to work toward. 

Scheduling and Planning: 

Once you have your goals, it’s time to create a schedule. A schedule helps you see how your time is being used and where you can fit in different activities. 

You can use a paper planner, a digital app, or even a simple calendar to plan your days. Find what works best for you. If you have a hard time staying off your phone, a paper planner may be right for you. 

When making your schedule, include your classes, study time, assignment deadlines, meals, sleep, and even leisure activities. Be realistic about how much time everything takes, and add buffer time between activities. This way you won’t feel rushed and will have time to handle any unexpected events. 


Not all tasks are created equal. Some things are more important or urgent than others. That’s where prioritization comes in. 

Using the Eisenhower Matrix is one way to prioritize tasks. This simple tool categorizes tasks into four groups: urgent and important, urgent but not important, not urgent but important, and not urgent and not important. 

  • Urgent and important: These tasks need to be done right away, like a homework assignment due tomorrow. 
  • Urgent but not important: These tasks need attention soon but aren’t as critical, like answering emails. 
  • Not urgent but important: These tasks are important but can be scheduled for later, like studying for an exam next week. 
  • Not urgent and not important: These tasks are the least critical, like scrolling through social media. 

Tackle urgent and important tasks first; then move on to other categories. This way you’re always working on what matters most. 

Conquering Challenges and Staying on Track 

Distractions and unexpected events are part of life. They can throw off your schedule, but don’t worry! There are ways to stay on track. 

Try silencing notifications on your phone or finding a quiet place to study. Set specific times for social media and stick to them. Otherwise you might pick up your phone “just to check one thing,” and an hour might slip away from you.  

Flexibility is key. If something important comes up and you need to adjust your schedule, it’s okay. Replan and keep going. But remember, it is your job to protect your time. In other words, be honest with yourself about how important this interruption really is. 

You’ll Be a Time Managment Pro in No Time 

Managing your time well will make a big difference in your college experience. By setting goals, making a schedule, and prioritizing tasks, you will stay on top of your work and reduce the stress of college life.  For more tips, tricks, and resources to guide you on your college journey, check out the IE Success website.