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How Lack of Time Management Affects College Students

by Neil Kokemuller

Making effective use of time is a critical element of college student success. Along with the rigors of college education, students often work and participate in extracurricular activities along with maintaining personal relationships. A lack of ability to prioritize and invest the right amount of time in the most important activities has negative affects on student performance.

Wasted Time

One of the more obvious signs that a college student struggles with poor time management is when he can't get work done because he is too caught up in trivial activities. Television, video games, cellphones, parties and sleep have all been known to distract well-meaning college students from productive activities like studying and homework. If you don't keep a schedule and calendar, you can easily get caught up in obsessive TV or video game playing.

Poor Performance

Poor time management can negatively affect your classroom performance in several ways. First, if you don't structure time for homework and projects, you may not complete them on time. Even if you get them done, procrastination and rushed work will limit your performance and grades. Cramming for tests is another common trait of disorganized or undisciplined college students. Rather than setting aside time each evening for study, poor time managers tend to try to absorb everything in a few late hours the day before the test.


When you are constantly pressed for time and in a position to juggle multiple projects, tests and other activities, stress can easily take hold. Some level of stress is normal when you are in a situation where performance is measured, such as with school. However, poor time management that always leaves you completing work at the last minute and cramming for tests can produce an unhealthy amount of stress. Lack of sleep and excessive caffeine intake can make you irritable, edgy and physically sick in extreme cases.

Relationship Damage

When you are stressed and behind at school and work, your personal relationships tend to suffer. With limited free time, you may put off spending quality time with a significant other or friends. Additionally, if you feel pressure and frustration in school and work life, you take that tension into situations with your friends. Thus, even when you do have time with them, you may not engage them with as much enthusiasm and care as you otherwise would.

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