Work Smarter — Not Harder

Time is a limited resource that busy college students rarely have enough of. Whether it’s working full-time/part-time or balancing family commitments, trying to fit in your studies can be a daunting task.

I often hear comments like:

  • I stayed up all-night studying. I’ll just guzzle coffee to get through the day.
  • My paper is due tomorrow. I am not coming out until it’s done.
  • I need the extra money so I have to add more hours. I can just stay up late/get up earlier to study.

Burnout anyone? Save yourself that stress and work smarter, not harder. Here’s how:

  1. Time management is critical—set a schedule and stick by it. For every one credit hour, students should plan to study 1-2 hours per week (maybe longer if it’s midterm/finals week). Schedule your classes with study time added in, and then put in work and other commitments.
  2. Don’t schedule long study times when you are most tired—some of us work better in the mornings and some in the evenings. Studying when your exhausted doesn’t help!
  3. Plan time for fun with the family and for down time as well—this is super important to your emotional health and is necessary for work-life balance.
  4. Studying or working too long for a period of time can be counter-productive. Take a 5-10 minute break every hour to stretch, get a snack, or shake the cobwebs out of your brain.

ICC has recently implemented Success Coaches and they will be presenting on time management and other key areas that students sometimes struggle with. More information can be found in the Student Success Office (302-right by the student lounge on the East Peoria campus). Our Academic Support resources are amazing and can help you to work smarter to reach your goals.

As we head into midterm, plan to work smarter, not harder!