Student Tips for Success: Budgeting Your Time


Time is precious, especially for us college students. It takes keen time management and organizational skills to be able to do all of the exciting things we want to do while in college, while at the same time maintaining a decent GPA. Plus, trying to sneak in that afternoon nap between class, or enjoying a fun and stress-free weekend can be a chore in itself. Unfortunately, time management skills don’t necessarily come naturally to everyone; it can be a struggle for some. But, there’s an easy way to juggle all the different aspects of college and find success: create a time budget.


Start by gathering all of your schedules you have available; class/test schedule, work schedule, intramural sports schedule, volunteer schedule, sorority/fraternity schedule, club event dates, and so on. Instead of having a million different pieces of paper on your hands, the best way to stay organized is to compile all schedules into one big master calendar.


I like to use Blank Calendars and Calendarpedia, or you can create a template by hand. When filing out your weekly calendar, use a color system to fill in the appropriate times you have something to do. Assign a specific color to represent your multiple activities. For example, blue = work, orange = practice, specific colors for each class, etc. Labeling the time blocks will make it easier for you to see what you have going at certain times of the day. To see an example of a calendar, click here.


Once you have all your mandatory activities and events scheduled (class, work, and extracurricular activities), take a look at where you have open spaces on your calendar. This is where you can determine weekly study times and leisure breaks, like hanging out with friends, going for a walk, or diving into a Netflix series at the end of the day. And don’t forget to add in time for meals, errands, and chores. It can be surprising how often our hectic schedules leave us forgetting to make time for our basic needs.


By creating your master agenda, you’ll learn how to budget your time more effectively, which will help you tenfold during the school year. Referring to your agenda everyday will reduce that stressful feeling of impending doom around your school, work and personal demands – and hopefully clear your brain of unwanted clutter at the same time.


The biggest challenge here is making sure you have your priorities straight. College is a busy and rigorous time for most students, and our future is riding on this pivotal point in our lives. But creating a master agenda is a great method of organization and time management that isn’t only useful to students. After college, life promises to only get busier as we take on more responsibilities. Juggling doesn’t stop after the diploma, so be sure you continue to use this helpful method as you transition out of college, to minimize your stress and maximize your success.