A Key to Success in College (and Life)

One  behavior that I encourage among my students is good time management.  It’s not as important as chastity or moderation, but it can be pivotal to college success nonetheless.

Many students would rather put off as long as possible the completion of lengthy and/or difficult assignments.  While there is a short term payoff for this–more time can be spent having fun early in the semester–it leads to problems later on, especially when the student has big assignments due near the end of the semester in multiple classes.  So what does the procrastinator do?  He/she pulls all nighters, rushes through writing assignments without having the time/energy to proofread their work, gets tempted to cheat, etc., etc., etc.

Students will typically say things like they can’t get motivated to write a 10-page paper that isn’t due for another eight weeks.  Fine.  Motivate yourself to write two pages this week.  Just get started on something.

One thing I tell my students is that I have written books, but there is no way I would have gotten them done if I had sat at the computer and said, “Okay, only 100 (or 200, or 300) more pages to go.”  I set smaller goals that I can feel good about accomplishing.  One goal I typically set  when I have locked in on a book project is to write 30 pages in a month.  I don’t have time every day to write a page, but on other days I can do multiple pages, so by the end of a month I can hit my goal.  If I can reach enough of my smaller goals, eventually the book gets written.

The college experience (or your life pressures) don’t have to overwhelm you.  Take big projects and break them down into a series of smaller goals–the smaller, the better.  Experience a sense of accomplishment and keep moving forward.

You can thank me later.