Budget your time and beat stress

You’ve already begun to see that look on campus – you know the one. The look of utter despair in your classmates’ faces. The disheveled hair conspicuously tucked under a hat. Squinted eyes peering down at syllabus and textbook with a look of both determination and defeat. The dark circles that surround the lower half of the eye, creating an appearance of both age and lunacy.

Papers, quizzes and exams can definitely create an unhealthy amount of stress in your life. According to the American Medical Association, stress is one of the leading contributors of heart disease. However, there may be a way many students can avoid unhealthy amounts of stress by creating good time management skills.

Academic assistant Michele Halley of the Learning Assistance Center, said many students she sees possess poor time management.

“Procrastination is a big problem with a lot of the students we work with,” Halley said. “I will see students in the library and they aren’t able to focus and get the information they need.”

She believes that going through a process to prepare for classes and assignments by beginning and preparing early greatly enhances your time management. Also, it helps when students create good habits and begin a solid academic process.

Senior Tara Wittrock knows that time is a precious commodity to college students.

Wittrock is one of the many who try to balance a full-time job with attending school full-time. She manages her time by “staying up all night, getting no sleep.”

Wittrock said that good organizaton and budgeting study breaks is key to balancing a hectic schedule.

“I would die without my planner,” she said. “If I’m not organized, I freak out.”

Sophmore Eric Boehmker somehow finds order in chaos. He said he studies on his breaks at work and uses “no planner, no folders. I just have papers stuffed in my notebook. That works best and I get it all done.”

He said between playing in a band, working and attending class, he feels cramming is the best strategy when it comes to school

“I’ve got to cram it in when it comes to the end” of the semester, Boemker said.

Planning ahead is vital when a person has two majors ,sophomore Lavena Kraft said.

“I study about two to three hours a day. I don’t have time to eat. Every day I have to do this, this and this; it’s all planned out.

“Some weekends I study” instead of going out, she said.

The Learning Assistance Center has created Tutortrac, an online service that may help students utilize their time and energy more efficiently.

On Tutortrac, students can schedule an appointment with a tutor. Halley believes that Tutortrac and proper preparation can help students create good time management skills that can greatly reduce stress.

Time-management tips

The Center for Advancement of Learning Web site offers students some hints on time management:

Budget time: It sounds tedious, but a person can do this by setting out specific hours day to do things.

Organize: If a person organizes the hours budgeted, she will be able to schedule time to relax, and maybe even catch a movie without having the excuse, “I have no time.”

Reevaluate your priorities: What’s more important to you: hanging out with friends or getting good grades? You decide.

Make a list: Write out a list of things you have to do and things you like to do. Once you do that, alternate between the two.

Be realistic: Think how many hours there are in a day. Do what you have to do, and be sure to get enough sleep.

Find motivation: If a person spends all of her time writing things down and not acting upon those ideas, then what is the point? Think of the long-term and short-term benefits you’ll reap.

Reward yourself: If you can’t think of anything to motivate yourself, then set aside a reward.

Buy a planner: Once you have all the information you need planned out, write it down! Keep the planner in a place where you will have easy access to it. That way you will be able to look at it, and write events down. You’ll be more effective if you plan things ahead. A day-by-day planner is especially good for people who need to schedule things like sleeping, eating and (woe is me) homework.