Time management tips for students from Ben Franklin


Time management tips for students from Ben Franklin


One of the biggest pitfalls students face is effective time management. This is particularly true for students who balance school with work and family obligations. The biggest enemy to effective time management is procrastination.

Ben Franklin was able to account for nearly every minute of his day. As a postmaster, newspaperman, diplomat, writer and inventor (among other pursuits), Mr. Franklin was notorious for having many irons in the fire. He was meticulous about how he spent his day. Many quotes have been attributed to Mr. Franklin that can be applied to the student’s pursuit of effective time management.


“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

If you are finding yourself avoiding what you need to do, you’re not alone. Procrastination is normal and almost everyone does it. Usually we do it because we’re don’t want to do a task that is either challenging or unpleasant, or we simply would rather be doing something else with our time.


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

Make a to-do list every day. It’s best to make it the night before, but not so late that you lose rest worrying about what you need to accomplish. It allows you to prioritize what you need to accomplish for each day. And, yes, schedule time for yourself. Franklin’s quote is most relevant.


“Lost time is never found again.”

Use even the smallest free time to do something. If you finish something early, keep your work with you. This usually isn’t a problem in today’s world of super-connectivity, with easy access to laptops, tablets and smartphones. If you find yourself with extra time, use it to knock out a task. Ben said it best.


“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Schedule time to study, even if you don’t have a test or anything that’s due the next day, set aside time to study when you shut off your phone, don’t respond to email, and are able to concentrate.


“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Get enough rest.When you have work, school and family obligations, you may sacrifice normal sleep patterns. Our brains require sleep to operate at peak efficiency.


“Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.”

Take a realistic look at how you spend your time each day to determine what causes you to procrastinate – surfing, social media, chatting with co-workers – and either limit yourself or cut it out completely.


Getting the education you need to help you succeed in your career path is a big commitment, and a big step towards changing your life for the better. Remember what Ben said: ”When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”


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