“You can only have two out of these three things in your college life: a social life, good grades, and enough sleep. You can’t have all three.” That’s what the guest speaker at my high school graduation said. Several classmates thought these words were gold, but being the skeptic that I was, I hated the idea of oversimplifying my college experience into just those 3 things. You’re probably the same way if you’re a college entrepreneur.
I’ve proved to myself that it’s entirely possible to have decent grades, a healthy social life, run your own business, and get ample rest – all during your college years. It took a bit of trial and error to find a system that works for me, but here are the things that made the most difference:
1. Don’t prioritize all your classes equally. Face it – some classes will be important, while some will seem like a complete waste of time. If you find that some of your classes are “too easy” or if you learn more from the textbook than from your teacher, you don’t have to spend as much time studying for them compared to your more challenging classes. If you spend two hours on your advanced calculus homework, don’t spend the same amount of time on a reading assignment you’ve already encountered in high school. Rank your classes according to importance and keep this list at hand.
2. Once you’ve figured out your school priorities, you can multi-task during the less important classes. I was required to take a biology class that covered topics from my 2nd year of high school. Since I was already familiar with the subjects, I just copied the notes from the board and spent the rest of the class time writing articles for my web content business, but all of a sudden I figured out that order essay online services are indeed exist! If you can work on your business during these types of classes, they’d be a more productive use of your time.
3. Identify idle time and use it. When we think of time management, we usually think of the time we spend at school, at home, or in our dorm rooms. There’s a lot of time that’s usually unaccounted for. Commuting, waiting in line, sitting on the toilet, standing at the laundromat – there are several precious minutes of your day that could be put to better use. You can listen to an educational/entrepreneurial podcast, do your homework, or plan your business activities for the next week. I always keep a business notebook and my mp3 player around for this purpose.
4. Automate as much as you can. Some tasks are repetitive and menial, for these tasks, you need to get an easy system in place. If you visit a lot of websites and blogs, get an RSS feed reader to get automatic updates. If you have several personal and business email accounts, read them from one email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird so you only need to look at one interface. If a program or gadget can do a task faster or simpler, don’t do it yourself.
5. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy your college experience. You need to put a little variety and fun into the mix, or else you’ll get so busy and stressed that you’ll have a heart attack before your graduation. Keep yourself occupied and be productive, but always keep a positive vibe. Make sure your schedule includes ample sleep, parties, and entertainment. This breaks the monotony and gives you time for yourself. After all, that’s who you’re doing all the work for, right?