Many of us had the good sense to skate through high school, and perhaps even our first semester gen-eds, but soon enough, your schoolwork and social life will be at odds. To make it all work, it just takes the smart incorporation of good time management skills. If you’ve never had to do this before, don’t despair, we’ve got the hook-up right here.

1. Kill The Procrastinator Within

This is the number one rule of time management. You may feel like the best under-pressure paper writer of all time, but that’s probably because you’ve never forced yourself to do it ahead of time. If you really want to maximize your time, start working on assignments and papers as soon as they’re assigned. You don’t have to get very far, not even halfway, but getting a start while it’s still on your mind will make it easier to complete down the road. You’ll be surprised how much time you have when you finally stop procrastinating.

2. Productivity Apps

What did we ever do before there was an app for that? Luckily, we don’t have to worry about it, because there are tons of productivity apps to help us organize our lives. From Evernote and Things to Google Calendar and DropBox, you can find apps to help you increase your productivity, organize your day, and manage your To-Dos. Check out the great apps for your Mac, such as Concentrate, as well as website blockers for Chrome, like StayFocusd, to eliminate distractions and keep yourself in check.

3. Schedules and Organization

Now that you’ve got all of your ducks in a row, it’s time to make a schedule. If you have class from 8-10, and again from 2-4, make use of those 4 hours in between. You clearly won’t be partying in the middle of the day when you still have another class, so take advantage of the opportunity to cross readings, assignments, and studying off of your to-do list. Then repeat it each week. Get into the habit of studying a certain topic at a certain time, and you’ll start completing your assignments without even thinking about them. Schedule all of your tasks and organize your midday “free” time, and you’ll have plenty of time for play.

4. Semester Calendars

You may think a calendar is essentially the same thing as a schedule, but it really isn’t. At the beginning of every semester, make, buy, or print the four monthly calendar pages for that semester. Whip out your syllabus and put every major quiz, test, exam, and assignment on the calendar. Then add birthdays, football games, and your school’s festivals. Hang those bad boys on the wall for easy reference. This way you will know way ahead of time if your Organic Chemistry midterm falls on the Monday after your roommate’s birthday. Plan accordingly using the aforementioned schedule.

5. Make Rules and Stick to Them

Make yourself follow rules such as, no television during the day, no Facebook on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and no drinking on weeknights. This way you will force yourself to be more productive, and it will be easier to stick to your schedule. Just a few simple rules can make a huge difference in your time management, and free up tons of time for your social life.

[Image credit: epsos on Flickr]