“Dear Brooke, I feel overwhelmed with all of my classes, clubs and social activities every semester. What can I do to manage my time better?”


Time management is not only one of the most important skills to have in the world of academics, but it’s a necessity for everyday life. And once you’ve mastered this grand balancing act, I can assure you that your daily journey will be a much smoother, stress-free ride.

Luckily enough, I have been named the queen of time management (okay, maybe I just named myself that), but it’s true nonetheless. I have been balancing classes, sports, a social life, me time and more since my freshman year of high school – and I can assuredly say I’ve mastered it once I started college. It might be overwhelming at first to adjust yourself to a brand new, extensive routine, but it is crucial to stick to your updated schedule to ensure your success.


  • Do assignments the day they’re assigned. 


I know – this sounds crazy. But hear me out. I have been doing this life-saving trick for over a year now and it is my golden rule. Of course, this may be tricky for those who have multiple classes in one day, but here is what I’ve learned to do and you can adjust this to however your schedule looks this semester.

As an example, you start the week off with no lingering assignments because you completed them all on Friday afternoon or Sunday night. On Monday, if you have enough time in between your classes, try and do your homework immediately after your class. You have a fresh memory of what you just learned, making it easy to remember the material and complete the work with ease. And boom, you already don’t have to stress about it. 

If you have classes back to back, try and carve out time later in the night for every class assignment you were given that day. Depending on the workload, you can adjust the amount of time you give yourself to do each paper and get them all done with one sweep. Being a procrastinator is no longer an option. 

For bigger assignments, like essays and presentations, this method is obviously not the way to go about them. So instead, give yourself your own due date for your project (I put mine to a week before the actual due date). This way, you will have time to reread your work with fresh eyes, catch errors or things you might have forgotten to include or pass them along to peer editors to check. Additionally, it’s now out of the way and you’re not rushing the night before. A big way to go about this is dedicating 30 minutes a day to this particular assignment and soon enough you’ll have it finished without burning yourself out.

By doing both of these methods, not only will your grades reflect your hard work, but you aren’t feeling as overwhelmed.


  • Go to the store and buy a planner.


To-do lists are my best friend. I am a bit extreme with my day-to-day schedule as I type on my notes app-specific hours I designate to class, eating, homework and showering – so do whatever you find works for you! But I find this helps me to be more organized, and if I overshoot the amount of time I originally give myself to do something, I can use the leftover time to hang out with my friends or watch Netflix. 


  • Create a routine and stick to it.


This is probably the hardest part to do, but once you’ve forced yourself to keep up with a schedule for two weeks or so, you should be locked in and have the ultimate time management skills like me. Designate certain activities to specific times like going to the gym or doing chores like laundry on assigned days when you have your least amount of classes.

If you find yourself falling out of your routine, you must fix it right away and readapt, whether that means waking up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later to mark off anything you didn’t get done. In the moment, it may seem super exhausting and you’d much rather lay on your phone (I’ve definitely been there). But when you push yourself to check off all of your bullet points for the day, most of the time you will still have about 20 minutes to scroll through social media or television stations before you fall asleep. And most importantly, your weekend should almost always be free to do anything you want – which is what every student should have the opportunity to do.

Changing your usual habits is incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of willpower and motivation to be able to keep pushing yourself every hour of the day to get something done. But, hopefully, you will fail into a pattern like me, and develop a hunger for being productive. Only you have the power to put yourself in the best position you can be in, and once you’ve done just that, there’s no stopping you from accomplishing anything you want to do.

Are you seeking any advice? Email Brooke at brooke.lathe@student.fairfield.edu or direct message our Instagram @fairfieldmirror to be featured!

About The Author

-- Senior I Executive Editor I English Creative Writing & Digital Journalism --

Brooke is a senior English Creative Writing and Digital Journalism major, with minors in Film, Television & Media and Editing & Publishing. She plans to pursue a career in screenwriting after graduation.

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