How Non-Traditional Students make the Best of Their Time

image of mother, father, babyNon-traditional college students must recognize windows of opportunity to optimize time management.

Non-traditional students, in many schools, make up over 70% of the population. Whether you’re a nontraditional college student (or a traditional student) with a busy life, you need to know that you will have many windows of opportunity to squeeze in some studying in the course of a day.

Go ahead; think of all the occasions your time is out of your control. Stand in any kind of line lately?  Waited for someone else in the last 24 hours? Take control back and be ready to whip out those 3×5 cards containing your review notes and study whenever time permits.

It does not even matter if these gifts of time, as I think of them, are 5 minutes or 15. Because we remember what we studied first, and what we studied last, short study sessions can be an important part of learning what you need to learn while still having time for a life.

In order to maximize time management, college students should write down their goals and their plans for achieving those goals. This includes everything from when you plan on studying  all the way to what you want to get out of college and the reason you are getting that college degree.

As you go through the day, track your progress.  That’s right, check off what you’ve accomplished, and at the end of the day, tell yourself the truth. Did you do those things that really matter? If the answer is yes, then you can sleep well.  If the answer is no, it really doesn’t matter how ‘busy’ you were that day because you weren’t busy doing the things you say matter the most.

All too often, students are not as successful as they could be simply because they are not being true to themselves about what they accomplished that day.  So, make the best of it.  Show everyone you’ve got what it takes to be a success!


College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio Link

Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, and enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

Make the Most of Your Study Time

Brain workoutStudy Smarter and watch your brain grow!

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Are you one of those college students who claim they don’t have time do study? People are pretty casual with the way they spend their time.  Many spend over 7 hours a day watching TV, and then complain about not having enough time.  Try something different, something most don’t dare do.  Lose that TV!  At least while you’re in college.  You’ll be surprised just how you will end up spending your time!  The same goes for internet surfing, but, you’ll probably not want lose the computer just yet.

Think of time as money.  You have it, you spend it. When it’s gone, you’re SOL (So outta luck).  So, use time carefully and remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not squander time, for that is the stuff Life is made of.”

Study Smarter, Study Less  Yeap-o.  You read that right.

Don’t study:

  • Anything you already know. Why should students spend their time just to study material they know?  Don’t bother re-hashing old news!
  • Anything you haven’t reviewed quickly first. Skim through your notes, text.etc. Research shows that when you quickly review within one hour, you retain what is learned even better.
  • When the TV is on. Many say they can multi-task when they study, but MOST students just think they can!
  • When your time is better spent napping. 20 minute power naps can do wonders to improve retention when you study.
  • When you’re distracted. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, perhaps you should take care of that business, particularly if it can be resolved quickly.

Better to spend 15 minutes of time with focused studying, than 60 minutes when your mind is elsewhere.  Do not even think about wasting your time this way.

Clear your head.  Focus.  Study.  Review.  Be done.


College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio LinkHi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

Time Management Tip- Unplug and Watch your Grades Soar!

headphones, music, time management and study timeFirst, Unplug and then get rid of music that doesn’t help you study!

 

If you want to make a dent in improving your time management as a college student, take the suggestion I make from “Mind Tricks That Make Learning a Piece of Cake,” a chapter from “College Success”. In it I talk about listening to music that will actually help students study better in school.  Short story, generally it’s the classical type.  Especially, it’s the type without words.

Now, get on the right music, turn off the TV, recharge your cell phone (since you’re going to have it off anyway), and for Pete’s sake, stop surfing the net. Students, we both know what a time sucker that is when time management  is  of concern.  You’ll be shocked just how much this will improve your study time in school.

As a college student who wants to improve his/her time management skills, I want you to get really focused when you study so you can study less, remember more, and go have some fun while you’re in school.

Stop distracting yourself, get the studying done, then kick up your heels!  You deserve the break.

Second, Practice Selective Procrastination

There’s an old saying “It’s not enough to be busy, what are you busy about?”  This is something students should always consider when it comes to managing their time.

Many wildly busy college students I meet from across the country tell me that they feel as though their schedules are booked 24/7.  To see them rushing from class to class, I don’t doubt it.

But here are the tough questions college  students should think about if they want to improve study habits:

  • Does everything on your ‘to do’ list really need to be done?
  • Are you doing stuff out of habit?
  • Because you don’t know how to say no?
  • Because you’re not really sure what you REALLY should be doing, so you’re going to do a bit of everything and hope SOMETHING is the right thing?

Well you know if you’ve read my books just for college students how I feel about wasting any kind of time when you’re at college.

As a student, you should have a clear idea of what you want to get out of college, go for it with a clear focus, study smartly, and leave yourself some downtime to relax and enjoy the ride.

So next time you feel like you’re running around like a crazy person, stop in that moment and ask yourself, what can I NOT do today so that I can do the things I really need to do much better?  Taking time to improve time management skills will give you more freedom, not less!

And then, procrastinate on those activities that didn’t make it to your short list.

Trust me, even if you don’t finish every teeny tiny thing on your humongous to do list, the world will still be revolving on its axis tomorrow.  And if it isn’t, you can blame me.

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College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio Link

Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

What Exaordinary College Students Do to Manage Their Time

 When you do what successful college students do, you get what successful college students get!

Time Management for StudentsSuccessful students have a clear idea about how they will manage their time.

I know, sometimes you just want to go with the flow and not be held to a tight schedule. That’s completely understandable. Just make sure that most of the time, you have a clear focus and direction so you know what you will have accomplished by the end of your day.

How much of the time should you schedule? 

Try 80% and see how much you get done.  If you’re uncomfortable getting that much done, scale back a bit. I’m thinking you’ll like the results.

Successful students manage expectations of themselves. They also manage the expectations others have of them.

Let’s say that you have a free Saturday.  How do you manage your time? You don’t have to work, you don’t have study group, and you’ve decided this is a great time to catch up on those 500 pages of reading for your History class.

Before you set your alarm for 6 AM and plan to read until 9 PM , do yourself a favor and set challenging, yet reasonable goals for yourself.  If you set the bar too high, you will get discouraged and give up after about, oh, three paragraphs. This is just what successful college students do.

And while you’re at it, let others know what you can do.  If your study group assigns you an entire chapter to report on in the next 24 hours, let them know if you will be glad to take the first half of the chapter, but you are booked up past that.

Ok, they won’t love it, but it’s better than pretending you can get through all of that and discouraging yourself and your group.

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College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio Link

Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful with time management and enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or mentoring for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.

Mean People Stink, Don’t Let Them Waste Your Time

Part of managing your time means you have to let things go quickly


Managing your time often means you have let goYou know what stinks?
Mean people.

Problem is a college student can waste a lot of time obsessing over someone else’s bad behavior. This is one very important aspect of time management many students don’t ever consider.

Have you ever spent your valuable time wondering what some students were thinking about you or reliving an embarrassing situation? Of course you have.

Problem with that is that it sends you into a black hole of major time drain. Improvements in time management can be made by just letting go of what could have been.

Whenever you spend your oh so precious time worrying about what you or someone else could have done differently but didn’t, remind yourself that every minute you spent stuck in that unhappy, uncomfortable memory, is 60 seconds you’ve lost doing something to make you feel good about yourself and others.

My personal philosophy regarding time management that I tell college students across the country is that “no amount of time is enough if you don’t know how you’re going to spend it.” Choose not to waste it on mean people, you’ll be happier for it!

Give yourself this personal time management goal. Without goals, students can drift through college without direction. Save yourself a lot of time, have a goals to focus your attention away from mean people.

Make sure you are clear about your values and goals and have a plan for your time. I always say that students who didn’t learn effective time management goals work for people who do. Which group will you be in?

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College Success Speaker, Crystal Jonas- Bio Link

Hi, I’m Crystal Jonas,

As a former academic advisor and assistant professor at the United States Air Force Academy, I know what it takes to make college students more successful, enjoy school whole lot more.

Ask about speaking or coaching for your students or faculty. Call me at 719- 291-0366.