Classes are in full swing, and time is spread thin between practice, clubs and volunteering. This makes it difficult to fit in time for studying or relaxing, which increases stress and creates room for errors like forgetting assignments or appointments. But, worry not! Here are some tips on how to improve time management skills to combat stress and leave room in your schedule.

I would first ask [students] to plan a master schedule. There are certain things that we have to do at certain times, said Pat Nelson, the coordinator of learning strategies at UVU. Once you’ve got that down, you look for small blocks of time. Fifteen minutes can add up to a lot of time.

Nelson suggests investing in a planner to keep track of assignments, important dates and appointments. Pick one that suits your style and use it as visual guide for the upcoming day. There are a variety of planners to choose from so pick one and make sure to write in it everyday. Make sure to look at what is written in it every night before bed or in the morning. Also, consider using electronic calendars to help schedule priority tasks and set reminders that link to your smartphone.

In her book Practicing College Learning Strategies, Carolyn H. Hopper says there are several benefits to scheduling your time. Scheduling things that you need to do actually creates time to do things that you want to do,writes Hopper.Having a schedule saves time. [It] is a guide, telling you what to do next and assuring you that everything will get done. Schedules aren’t the only thing that will help manage time.

Alicia Rades, a writer for LifeHack, suggests small things like hiding social media apps, focusing on one task at a time and making use of dead time. This is the time spent waiting for the train, sitting in a waiting room or waiting for classes to begin. Dead time adds up and is the perfect opportunity to catch up on emails, write in your planner or study. Keeping a schedule creates free time and helps to keep your day on track; it is the foundation of learning time management skills. While these suggestions are small, using them will add up to a big change. Suddenly, schedules will be more flexible and stress will start to lower.

Proper time management can help students maintain decent grades while working full time or participating in college activities.

Editor in Chief and life-long student