Triage is a word I recently read and had to Google: it means to prioritize your actions within the context of who lives and dies. Yikes. Still, the concept applies pretty solidly in the college life. Here, I’m going to tell you how to maximize your time and efficiency in ways that you might not expect.


1. Skip Class

Any class that you can avoid- say, the Astronomy lecture I’m skipping right now- skip it. This doesn’t mean skip all your classes; you still have to pop in to make sure that it’s skippable, of course- but the concept remains the same. If you’re not going to be getting any work done in that class, if you’re passing out and there are notes online? Skip it. Use that time more effectively in the library, or sleep if you have to, or whatever: whatever it is that you have to do, use your hours for that.


2. Party Harder

Let’s say it’s the weekend. But you have a test on Tuesday and tonight is Friday night. You can’t really party this weekend, so instead you’re going to drink a little with friends, hit a bar, and watch netflix those nights.

Screw it. Party.

That time you’re spending is time spent, period. It doesn’t matter that you’re drinking moderately if you don’t plan to be getting work done anyway (and even if you are, good luck.) If you’re sacrificing  that time, enjoy it. Efficiency in being inefficient is an important life skill. You may as well just party as hard as you want to be partying, and if you really do it well, you may be satisfied by just one nights worth of partying. It’s a simple rule of thumb: don’t half-ass your time on anything, even (and especially) when it comes to enjoying your time.


3. Sacrifice The Small

I’m a writer. I write and I talk incessantly. But I don’t get straight A’s in a lot of my classes. I have typos more often than not in my pieces, often, in fact, lots of them. But to me that doesn’t matter. Why? Because that’s not my priority.

The fact that I’ll have a few typos and miss a “you’re” or “your” in a paper (or blog post) is outweighed by the importance of writing the full piece as well as I can within a reasonable time limit. I have dyslexia (really) so editing is very difficult for me. It simply isn’t worth it. Period. And so I sacrifice it and re-dedicate my time to what I’m good at, what I care about, and what actually matters in my life and schoolwork. I suggest you do the same. Sacrifice small time-sinks and accept the B+ over the A-. That time might be better used preventing a C- on an Astronomy exam later.


4. Pick Something To Excel At

If college is preperation for life, let’s act like it.

My friend Fred, like myself, wasn’t a fan of too much school work. He focused on his Computer Science classes and his own personal side projects for a mediocre GPA and a great talent. He got a plum internship and on his own time made and sold a few small websites that so impressed the firm that he was hired. He now has a six figure salary all while finishing up his senior year in style. Seriously. He’s surfing in the Dominican this week, skipping some classes because “why not?”

His GPA wasn’t and isn’t great. But he devoted himself to what he loved and what he was good at. Do that too and don’t spread yourself too thin.