Congratulations, you survived high school! Welcome to college!

One thing you should know – college classes move faster than high school classes, but you do tend to have more flexibility in how you schedule your day. Therefore, developing a strong set of time management skills will be vital to your success.

Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals:

Breathe. Turn off the noise.

In today’s world of smartphones and apps, there are countless distractions out there. One minute you’re flipping through your math book, the next thing you know you’ve been watching funny panda videos for over an hour. Try putting your phone on airplane mode so you can focus on the task at hand. Log off from social media and take a moment to inhale, exhale, and clear your mind.

Focus on outcomes and priorities.

It is challenging to work toward a result that you cannot envision. Visualize your desired outcomes: What exactly needs to be done? What class should you be studying for? Is there a big project due soon and you should start plugging away on what’s needed for that? Visualize your goals, both short-term and long-term.  Thinking about this will go hand-in-hand with the next tip…

Find the system that works for you.

Create a checklist for all the things that need to be done today or this week. Invest in a Planner to keep yourself organized. Sure, there are plenty of wonderful apps out there, but the act of writing down a task will help you remember that it needs to get done. It may take a little practice, but find the system that works best for you.

Go to class!

This should go without saying, but it is very important. While it’s true that some college professors may not take attendance, you must attend class in order to fully understand the day’s lesson. It is not the responsibility of the professor to make sure you are waking up and going to class; it is yours.

The value of a syllabus.

Typically on the first day of class, your professor will distribute a syllabus that describes class policies and expectations, as well as outlines the dates for coursework, projects, and tests. Study your syllabus carefully, and add reminders in your planner for the important dates and appropriate study times.

Eat healthy, easy on the caffeine and sugar!

A proper diet will help you stay energized and focused. It’s easy to go overboard on coffee or sugary treats. Just remember, caffeine and sugar can wear off quickly, leaving you with a dull feeling that will damper your productivity. Fruits and vegetables will give you a more sustainable feeling of energy.

Make time for balance.

You are a human and need to rest. Make sure you are getting adequate sleep, or your academic performance may suffer. Exercise can also help you work through stress and help you sleep better at night.

Remember, your success (or lack thereof) is a direct result of the decisions that you make every day. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes you might make a mistake, but try your best to manage your time efficiently. Stay productive and your college career will be off to a great start.

Any other tips out there you want to share?

Check out other blogs in this series:

College Skills: How to Get Along With Your Roommate

College Skills: What to Do if You Get Sick Away from Home

College Skills: How to Create Your First Budget

College Skills: How to Grocery Shop