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Time management resources for college students

University of the Pacific students study together.

College life is a whirlwind of new experiences and opportunities. Between juggling classes, jobs, extracurriculars and hanging out with new friends, it can also be challenging to carve out time to study and meet deadlines. There are only 24 hours in a day to accomplish everything you want to get done. That’s why mastering the art of time management is key to success in your academic and personal life.  

We’ve compiled these time management tips for students to help keep you on track so you are well prepared for class and still have time for you

Create a schedule 

Having a structured routine provides a sense of stability and predictability. Create a schedule at the beginning of the semester that accounts for class time, study time and any other obligations like work or club meetings. This will allow you to plan your days accordingly, adjust if needed, and see what time you have left for other engagements.  
Some days you might not be able to fit everything in, and that’s OK! Your friends will understand if you need to take a rain check for that rock climbing session.  

See how marketing major Megan Nishimura balances academics, an on-campus job and being a student-athlete

Use time management tools 

When it comes to managing time, make technology your friend. There are an array of apps and tools to help keep you focused throughout the day. Here’s a look at some of the best time management tools to choose from: 


If you love checking things off a list, these apps are for you.

Task management

Set due dates for your assignments and hold yourself accountable. 


Keep all your thoughts written down in one place. 

Do you find yourself scrolling on your phone for hours? Try one of the many anti-distraction apps that block social media and help you rein in your digital activity. 
If you prefer a more low-tech method, set a timer on any device and focus on a single task until it rings. Then reward yourself with a break. 

Tackle one thing at a time

It’s a common misconception that focusing on two or more tasks at once will help you to finish each task in less time. In reality, multitasking can impair your brain’s ability to focus deeply, leading to decreased productivity, increased distractions and more mistakes.  

Instead, focus on one thing at a time and prioritize your tasks based on their urgency or deadlines.  

One helpful exercise is to use an Eisenhower matrix, or prioritization matrix, which categorizes tasks into four quadrants based on what to do first, what to schedule, what to delegate and what to delete:

  • Quadrant 1: Urgent and important/Do
  • Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent/Schedule
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important/Delegate (Ex. Skip the sorority/fraternity meeting the night before your exam and ask a friend to fill you in later)  
  • Quadrant 4: Neither urgent nor important/Delete  

The goal of the matrix is to help you focus on the tasks that are urgent and important (things that have tight deadlines and consequences if not completed) while minimizing time spent on tasks that are not important. 

Make time for fun 

As a college student, you have a lot on your plate and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Luckily, Pacific has the resources and people in place to help you succeed.  

  • Our robust Student Support Services offer tutoring, career counseling, ways to reserve study spaces and more.
  • Your faculty adviser will also be with you from orientation to graduation, helping guide you through your degree requirements and encouraging you to explore other areas of interest.
  • Don’t forget to lean into your social network too. Find a study buddy who can help keep you accountable and motivated. Join clubs and organizations aligned with your interests where you will meet like-minded peers. These connections can help offer social support and contribute to a more successful work-life balance.  
  • And if you need more personalized support, Pacific’s dedicated care managers can assist you in navigating a wide range of academic and personal challenges. 

By implementing these strategies and taking advantage of available resources, you can empower yourself to manage your time effectively, navigate the demands of college life and thrive academically and personally.  

Ready to take control of your schedule?

Pacific has you covered. Download these helpful time management worksheets and get started.

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