Time management can be a significant source of stress for many students. College presents a unique experience where students need to learn how to manage time in a way they never had to previously.

For example, if a student is coming to SDSU from high school, they may have had a much more structured school day previously than they did at college where they now have classes at various times throughout the day.

Many students try to figure out a way to balance their classes, sleep, social life, and other activities (e.g. job, family commitments, etc.) in an attempt to make the most of their college experience.


Some people are more likely to get work done if they have it planned out ahead of time. You can do this with a planner, an app, or whatever works best for you.

It may be helpful to schedule a combination of schoolwork, fun activities, and anything that you find yourself spending a large amount of time doing.

One issue that can arise when we are balancing schoolwork with other activities is that the amount of work can feel overwhelming.

If there is a large task, break it into smaller tasks. For example, if you have a lot of homework due in the upcoming future, sort by each assignment, then break each assignment into smaller, more manageable pieces.

While this might not change the amount of work you have, it may make it feel easier. You may also find it helpful to start with easier assignments and build your way up to more difficult ones.

Do you notice that you spend so much time with friends that it impacts your ability to study? Are you on your phone when you could be doing other activities? See if you can determine how you spend your time to determine if there might be activities you scale back on or avoid at certain times.

Create a list of upcoming responsibilities and activities you have coming up and rank them based on importance. You may notice that you are not always following your preferred order when you participate in things.


Write down what you did each hour. See if there are any patterns for when you had issues and address those patterns.
Create a checklist and check off after you have completed each part.


  • If you are curious about learning about possible factors that might impact your time management, you may find it helpful to take one of our 8 mental health screening tools.
  • We also developed a COPE stress test to further guide you as well.