The fine art of time management: Organize your time, organize your life


Illustration by LaQuann Dawson

Blythe Alspaugh

Holly Nelson sits in front of her laptop, InDesign open as she works on a project for her graphic design class. Papers are strewn across the table as her digital clock reads 2:07 a.m.

Late nights aren’t unusual for Nelson, a visual communication design major and president of her hall’s council.

“Once I know I’m going to be in my room for the remainder of the day, that’s when I study,” she said.

“In college, students don’t necessarily have the same schedule that they had in high school, so it’s a little bit more fluid,” said Lindsay Marx, assistant director for Academic and Student Leadership programs. “It’s sometimes harder for students to figure out what to do in their spare time in between courses.”

On top of attending weekly hall council meetings, president’s roundtable and a leadership in student affairs workshop, Nelson manages 13 credit hours.

“A plus with being a graphic design major is that I don’t really have midterms,” Nelson said. “I definitely have to stay on top of all of my projects, though. They take up a lot of my time and there’s points where I have to choose whether to study for a test for a Kent Core, or get a good grade on a project for my major.”

For Nelson, her major is her first priority. However, she does her best to help prioritize her time.

“I have notebooks for all of my classes, so I write assignments in there, as well as my planner. If I need to refer to something later on or forget, I have it in two places.”

Junior communication studies major Kara Curry also keeps herself organized with a planner. Her personal trick to good time management, however, is a good night’s rest.

“I get more done that way,” Curry said. “I don’t have to rely on naps during the day, so I can get more work done.”

Curry takes 16 credit hours in addition to working roughly 12 hours a week and acting as a mentor for Kent State’s Provost Leadership Academy. She finds time to do her classwork before her day starts, or after it ends.

“I’m steadily busy from about nine to five or six every day,” Curry said.

“During the day I really have no time to manage, so I try to get [work] done as soon as I’m done with classes and work for the day. That way, I don’t go crazy and have to do work until midnight. I’m not the type of person who can stay up.”

Keeping on top of the workload students are given in their classes seems to be an important factor with time management.

“When something needs to get done, I make sure it gets done,” said sophomore nutrition major Ashley Pitt. “I don’t really have set time where I do stuff. I just find time wherever I can, usually at the end of the day after work.”

Pitt manages 15 credit hours and 15 work hours at the Schwebel Room, in addition to working out for two hours every day.

Marx said some good ways to stay organized are by scheduling times to study, keeping a list of priorities and sticking to both.

Contact Blythe Alspaugh at [email protected].