Image Credits: Annawithlove Photography

Time management is everyone’s favorite topic as the school year begins. We start to think about how we can balance classes, organizations, and a social life. We wonder how we are going to fit it into the same 24 hour span we all have. The truth is we have the same hours in a day as the most successful CEOs, politicians, entrepreneurs, and yes, even Beyonce. 

Here are 5 tips to help manage time and still sleep. (Yes, it is possible!)

Don’t do it all

The best way to manage time is to not do everything. When you start the school year, there is always the yearning to join new clubs, say yes to more opportunities. Learn to say “no” so that you can say “yes” to what is important to you. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t be able to enjoy what you are involved.

This will also allow you to invest your time in what you have committed to, instead of simply participating in everything. It will also allow you to free up more time for unexpected lunch dates and last minute adventures with friends.

Managing your time means taking control of what you do, choosing what is most and important and giving it your all.

Minimize distractions

I’m looking at you, with Netflix up in the background and your phone buzzing with text messages. Turn off the notifications on your phone, download and use  an extension on your browser that temporarily blocks social media sites. Allow yourself to focus on what you are working on.

Minimizing the distractions will clear your mind and allow you to focus on the task at hand. Multitasking can be good in some situations, but when you are working to manage you time better, it is better to avoid this.

By minimizing the distractions around you, it presents an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the task at hand, preventing the need to re-do the task again because it wasn’t done adequately the first time.

Make a to do list

Lists will help you visually see what you need to work on, as well as give you an idea of how you should plan your day. If you have errands to run, you can figure out how to do them in an efficient order. If you have homework assignments and papers to write, you can prioritize to maximize the use of your time.

With making a to-do list, it only works if you actually complete the tasks on it. That means, yes you have to do the chapters of readings and yes, you have to take out the trash. It does not help you manage your time if you allow yourself to procrastinate and push off what would be done now.


When it comes to managing time, prioritizing is your friend.

Prioritizing will allow you to tackle the larger and more important tasks before heading onto those that may not take as much time. It will also aid in determining how much time to devote to a task before completing it. 


Sleeping will allow you be more in control of your time since you are not feeling sluggish, running solely on caffeine, and give you a clearer mind. It gives you an opportunity to maximize the potential of the 24 hours you have.

When your body and mind are rested, your focus is stronger and if you have to study, you will be more easily able to retain the information and not just have your eyes glaze over after one paragraph.

Time management is a lot of trial and error. It will take adjustments, but once you are able to efficiently manage your time, you will be able to balance classes, organizations, work, and a social life. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Each of us have the ability to take control of how it is spent.

Bailey L
Bailey is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who enjoys writing, traveling, and coffee. When she isn't working, you can find her with her nose in a book or planning her next adventure.

Read more articles