The life of a student-athlete at the collegiate level is not all glitz and glamour. The reality is that today’s student-athletes are faced with a myriad of challenges both in the classroom and in competition. Balancing the demands of a college curriculum with practice, training, and competition is never as easy as it looks, despite all of the resources at the disposal of these student-athletes. Central among these challenges is how to effectively engage in time management in a way that will please both coaches and teachers while allowing the student-athlete the time and ability to enjoy the entire college experience. Remembering a few easy tips can help these student-athletes to more effectively balance time, improve both academic and athletic performance, and increase the chance of achieving success later down the road:

DON’T DISCOUNT THE VALUE OF A DAILY TO-DO LIST: One common trait of highly successful people is their insistence on creating a daily to-do list. Not only does this list provide a visual of what lies ahead, it also creates a sense of satisfaction every time a task is checked off the list. The simple act of writing (or typing) an official list helps student-athletes to prioritize their tasks and stay on track with a daily routine.

USE TIME BLOCKS TO ORGANIZE TASKS: Using a system of time blocks can help student-athletes remain focused and work in short energy bursts designed to help finish tasks. The amount of time devoted to each task is personal and subjective and dependent on the person’s level of acuity and focus. Most people find that they can do anything for an hour, so starting with 60 minutes per task is a good place, to begin with experimenting with what works best for each individual.

AVOID DISTRACTIONS: Now more than ever, it is easy to be distracted and lose sight of the goal at hand. Young adults in today’s rapidly changing, technologically-driven world are confronted with a variety of distractions all capable of throwing off even the most dedicated student-athlete.

By becoming more purposeful with time schedules and prioritization, student-athletes can work to overcome the distractions and pitfalls that come with the territory of trying to balance school with the rigors of competing on the collegiate stage.