The time in university can be one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. It’s when you meet many new friends, possibly including your future spouse and/or business associates, and mentors who leave a lasting impression. While the first couple of years signal many fun, carefree moments and extracurricular activities, the last two remaining years in college are the times when you’d want to make the most of your time with friends you’ve shared so much time with. These are also the years when major subjects and course-related projects demand much of your attention. You want to accomplish as much as you can while not taking your friends (and other people close to you) for granted or missing out on the thrill, fun and exposure that university activities offer.

From all indications, some time management skills are in order. While it may seem like effective time management is easier said than done, the fact is that things can all fall into place if you commit yourself to making this happen. Before anything else, there are some things individuals need to do first, like learn how to prioritize (is it education first, extracurricular activities second, friends and hobbies last? Or is it the other way around for you?) To have direction, you can develop a short-term as well as a long-term plan and try to stick to it so that you don’t end up draining not just money but precious time and energy.

When you encounter deadlines left and right, work on the more urgent one first. When things get more complicated and you find yourself on the brink of losing your mind, take a moment to breathe and do a self-assessment for personal inventory. Ponder on questions like: “Have I been persistent enough to see my plans through to completion?”; Have I procrastinated too much to decrease my efficiency?”; and “Have I dissipated my energy in unimportant matters or issues that took up much of my time?”

With proper time management, you can simplify life (and the many things commanding your undivided attention) while still leaving much time for more important matters, like attending to your personal health and overall well-being. By planning your time well, you don’t end up spreading yourself thin and sacrificing many things, including your studies.

To effectively manage your time while in university, do away with the small tasks right away so you can brace for the bigger ones. In handling tough assignments, you can do it piece by piece but see it through. When review time is just around the bend and you have the urge to just meet up with friends and “take things easy” nudge yourself to reality and remember what you are in school for – to learn and chart your future. It’s your personal decision, though, so should you decide to loaf around a bit, then do so but have a firm resolve to get your act together quickly when school matters beckon. Set up proper study skills, because in doing so, you use your time more efficiently and end up doing your best in and out of school.

Proper time management involves listening effectively in every class, doing proper note taking, preparing for tests, and balancing all these with a healthy social agenda plus some personal time. With patience, flexibility, awareness, determination, and a ‘learn as you go’ approach, you stand a great chance of enjoying the best years of your life in university.