Time Management in College During COVID-19

by Haley Winstead October 5, 2020



Adjusting to the "new normal" that has taken over the world has been difficult, especially as a college student. The ability to master time-management can ease the stress of academic life.


Here are 5 helpful tips to achieve time-management as a student during the pandemic:

  • Find a productive space
  • Use a planning tool
  • Develop a strategy
  • Prioritize your time
  • Make sure you can balance it all


#1 Find a productive space


The atmosphere is everything. Find a place where you can stay focused,


Typically I choose coffee shops or places with a quiet atmosphere such as Panera Bread. This way, there are no distractions around me, and I am just focusing on the task at hand.


It is essential to know what kind of learner you are because that will determine where your ideal study space should be. I am a visual learner, and I feed off of inspiration from others or my surrounding areas.


Therefore, I usually pick a place where there is beautiful scenery. Watching people coming in and out of a building sparks ideas for me.


The three essentials that I always have with me while I am in my study space are:

  • Music
  • Beverage
  • Snack

Having everything in my space makes it easier to concentrate on everything that I need to do.


#2 Use a Planning Tool


Finding a planning system that is perfect for you is an enjoyable process. It's honestly my favorite thing to do when going back to school or planning my life in general.


Usually, I like to pick a detailed planner that has both a daily and monthly outline. As I use the planner, I can plan my days with lots of detail, and I am also able to see a monthly overview to make sure that I am meeting all of my due dates and deadlines.


My four favorite methods of planning are the following:

  • Calendar
  • Paperback planner
  • Sticky notes
  • Notebook

These items are used for different purposes, and they all benefit me in many different ways.


The calendar I use is a whiteboard calendar. I can use markers to coordinate all the subjects. It's easy for me to add something at the last minute, and it's there every day for me to see once I wake up.


The paperback planner is where I put all of my school-based tasks and plan out each assignment and when it's due.


Sticky notes are used for last-minute things or quick things that come up at short notice or remind me of something vital.


Lastly, a notebook is where I can write out things in-depth and refer to my creative ideas. My notebook comes in handy when I have ideas that cannot fit in my calendar or planner.




#3 Develop a Strategy


Being aware of what kind of learner you are is very important for this next tip.


Finding out which strategies help you focus and get work done the fastest can be very helpful during a stressful semester.


I enjoy color coding all of my information because it helps me determine what is essential. It helps me stay organized and know which assignments belong to which subject.


Each subject that I am taking in school has a specific color in all of my planning tools. This way, it's easier to refer to each subject quickly.


While color-coding, I suggest using bright colors because they will most likely stand out to you.


I also use other fun items such as stickers to make the process a little bit more fun.



#4 Prioritize your Time


Aside from planning, it's also essential to prioritize your time wisely.


You must go through all of your syllabi, emails, and schedules so that you aren't missing anything.


The busier you are, the harder it is to decide which things are more important than the other.


It can become very overwhelming, which is why you must give yourself enough time to complete all the things that you need to get done.


Aside from doing work, it's also crucial that you prioritize time for yourself as well.


Your mental health is significant, especially during this time, because we are in a pandemic.


It's easy to get lost and wrapped up in the everyday motions of life, but taking 10 minutes out of the day for yourself goes a long way.


In your planner, I suggest picking a time during the week to dedicate to yourself or do something that makes you happy.



#5 Find Balance


Balancing everyday life can be difficult, especially when you are very passionate about many things.


However, you must say "NO" to things that may overwhelm you or cause unnecessary stress.


One way to keep your mental health in line is to know your limits and surround yourself with people that respect those limitations.


It is O.K. to not be able to do everything.


Overall you are in charge of your happiness.


Follow these steps to manage your time, and be sure to strive for balance in your academic life. What are other ways to achieve time management during a difficult time?