Time Management Tips from Student Athletes
University of Miami soccer captain Shannon McCarthy shares her six tips for time management exclusively with College Living.
There never seems to be quite enough time in the day, no matter how good of a time manager you are. I’m sure everyone who tired of giving you college advice probably said something along the lines of “learn to manage your time." I wish there was a magic potion or wand that would make it just a bit easier!
Let’s get real, some of the best time managers are student athletes. Here’s a typical day for me - weight lifting, practice, class, fitness, class again, a decision between eating and sleeping, and then evening tutor sessions. That schedule doesn’t take traveling into account either. Mastering time management was a must for me in order to be a successful student athlete, both on and off the field. Here are some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way that might help you out when stress builds up and things get busy.
6. Write it down
There’s no better feeling than crossing something off your to-do list when you’ve completed it.
5. Get your stuff ready the night before
Pack your bag and lay out your clothes (when you’re not rolling out of bed in that day’s outfit) so they’re ready for you in the morning. This will also help you to not forget anything.
4. Perfect the art of the power nap
I’m not a sleep doctor, but I know a 30-40 minute power nap recharges me for the rest of the day. Sometimes I do this in the morning after practice before class, or to give myself a break from my homework - especially my readings.
3. Set time limits
Work on one class for an hour, then switch to the next class. Divide and conquer. This also works for those of us with a boyfriend/girlfriend back home. Chase and I set a 10:00 p.m. time limit for Facetime or talking on the phone. This allows me to get a good night’s sleep and get my things ready for the next day.
2. When you’re out, stay out
When you make your way to campus, get EVERYTHING you need to get done on campus DONE. If you need to go to the bookstore, library, or whatever it may be, do it RIGHT after class. Don’t go home and have to make another trip later on that day.
1. “Why put off for tomorrow what you can do today?”
This quote comes from my beautiful mother who has never forgotten anything a day of her life. If I heard her say this once, I’ve heard it 100 times. Procrastinating is a great way to lose sleep, get super stressed and then end up cramming. I think of my mother’s voice saying this to me in the beginning of the semester. Getting ahead in class work or starting that 2,500-word paper due in April (assigned in January) is great time management.
I’ve found great success using these tips. Time management is in every accomplished student athlete’s repertoire. I’ve been a member of the soccer team for three years now and was named captain as a 19 year-old. After red-shirting my sophomore year, I kept my grades up and will be able to get my masters on my last year of eligibility. Having my scholarship apply to grad school would not have been able to happen with poor time management skills. I hope this helps!