Being a college student is tough, being a business owner is tough, but doing both takes a special type of dedication and motivation. As a high school senior the thought of this was almost enough to steer me away from college, but I now have the experience and resources to show you not only how to manage this, but how to be successful at both. In this essay I’m going to break down this process into three parts: How to best manage your time as a student, how to best manage your time in your professional life and lastly, how to successfully do both.
First, as most people will tell you, school has to be a priority and come first if you are going to do it, therefore we will start there. When it comes to being a student, scheduling is absolutely vital and can honestly make or break you. My suggestion as a first semester freshman is you should really think about what is best for you and meet with your advisor. One of the biggest perks of being a college student is the flexibility of your schedule, if you want to knock out all your classes one right after the other in the morning you can, if you want to sleep till 11 every day that can work too. After making your schedule you have to make the best possible use of the time you are given. No matter how bored you are, or how many times your phone may go off in class just pay attention, not only does listening in class lead to a better understanding of the topic, but it can also drastically cut down on study time and the time required to complete your homework and class assignments which will ultimately open up your schedule more and leave you more time to focus on areas requiring more attention. As a high school student I was able to make it through with a 4.0 while never dedicating much time to studying, that’s not how college works. As an article by Better Homes and Gardens best explains, “Plan to spend at least two nights studying for a major exam, set aside even more time for writing papers,” They also suggest using a calendar or planner and marking down all the deadlines for the semester in the beginning. Early in my own college career I would wait until the day before an assignment would be due to even look at it, that strategy always left me stressing and rushing my assignments, I now work as far ahead as possible and it has increased the quality of my work, my grades, and lessened the amount of pressure on myself. Next, we will discuss how to best manage your time in your professional career.
Second, time management in your professional life will be extremely important, whether your a shift manager at McDonalds or the CEO of Apple this is a skill you will use this every single day of your life. You are probably wondering what makes me credible on this subject, I began my working career at 12 for my father’s trucking company which I took over and ran at the age of 15 after his death. In the years since selling the trucking company I have built an impressive resume of my own with owning and operating my own lawn care and landscaping company along with reaching management at a local company at the age of 18. A great article I read, written by Chris Brown, stated to identify the top three must do’s of your day, start your day with an easy task, and create a routine work schedule and stick with it. I asked a personal friend of mine who has been self employed most of his adult life what he viewed as the most important part of time management as an entrepreneur, his answer was “stay on top of everything, as soon as you get a job or you schedule a project (he moves mobile homes) make sure to put it in your planner, don’t overextend yourself or schedule so much that it affects the quality of your work. Your work is your reputation.”
Third, I will now show you how to tie both of these skills together. After deciding on and making your college schedule I suggest getting a planner and writing down your classes so you have a visual representation. Once you have this written out you should plan out how much time you need to dedicate to studying, I try to dedicate 1-2 hours a day. After writing this out you will now know how much time you must put into school and what times you have free, you can plan your work schedule off of this. When scheduling customers into your plan try to have a set time and day each week or two weeks, this leads to more of a set schedule, less confusion, and much less problems. The best advice I can give you is to work as hard as you can but don’t overextend yourself. When I came into college I was going to school, practice and work every single day; at least 12 hours on weekdays and at least 10 on weekends. I went every single day and I never took a break. You may feel like you can handle it, but this will lead to burn out and could lead to you slacking off and ultimately failing at what you want to accomplish. It is best to plan breaks between activities and try to take a day off from everything once every two weeks.
In conclusion, although being a college student and business owner may be a lot on one person, it is more than possible with the right amount of planning, time management and motivation. By scheduling and planning your life as a student, then as a professional, then tying it all together, you will be more successful and be able to manage way more things in your day to day life. Good luck and no matter what don’t get disheartened and give up, your friends may be living it up now, but one day soon all this work will pay off.
- Time management for college students. (1997, 09). Better Homes and Gardens, 75, 226. Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.acaweb.org/advanced?accountid=13193/docview/205348890?accountid=13193
- Brown, C. (2018, Apr 04). Business beat: Time management strategies for aspiring entrepreneurs. The Medicine Hat News Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.acaweb.org/advanced?accountid=13193/docview/2021292893?accountid=13193