Thrown into a new environment, many freshmen have a lot of trouble with optimizing their schedule and managing the increased amount of assignments. The responsibility that comes with being also a college athlete doesn’t make things any easier. Under so much stress, it’s a matter of time while someone loses it.

High and low, professors and college advisors will most likely recommend you to bring your athletic responsibilities and academic work into balance. However, easier said than done, isn’t it?

In addition to obligatory athletic commitment, there are tons of no less mandatory classroom hours, home studies, and extracurricular activities one requires to perform well. Let’s not forget about a social life every young person needs to avoid taking the bench of outsiders. To cope with all that, it is of the essence to treat your time as the most precious asset, distributing it with full caution and mindfulness.  

In such circumstances, it is crucial to learn basic time management principles to find a free minute for everything you want to accomplish. They are the following:

Stick to Your Goals

Once in college, you will suddenly realize that it offers an ocean of opportunities, temptations, and freedom to do whatever you want – even when you want to do nothing. It’s easy to get carried away by new friendships, endless parties, and screwing up both your athletic and academic life.

To avoid that, it is important to have a clear vision of your goals and pursue them. Same as you treat your athletic aspirations, you should approach your academic performance. Whether you want to go into a professional sport in the future or choose a different path, studying and doing sports are inseparable matters for a student-athlete.

With all that said, visualize your sportive and academic objectives. Write down what you want to achieve, how you can do it, and how much time you will need to achieve that. Once you have them on the paper, remind yourself of your goals every now and then to stay motivated.

Set Your Priorities in a Good Way

When your to-do list bursts at the seams, it may be a real challenge to figure out which activity requires your immediate attention and which can be put off for later. However, as a student-athlete, you’ve probably learned by now that it is better to do the hardest exercise when you are still fresh and full of energy.

Dabbling with easy low-priority tasks may be a huge temptation. However, piece by piece, it will be devouring your valuable time and leaves you with nothing by the time you finally dare to get down to your “elephant” assignment. Therefore, no matter how bad you want to procrastinate, it is crucial to deal with the highest-priority tasks in the first instance. Your term paper is worthhalf of you grade? Make sure that you have this covered first.

At the same time, don’t forget about the so-called frog rule. If you can do something in as little as a few minutes, sort out all your small assignments in the first place; this way they won’t hover over your head distracting you from more important issues.

However, sometimes there are just classes that fall out of your priorities completely. A Columbia University cheerleader Liz Martin has a zero tolerance policy here: “I’ll simply pay someone to write my term paper.” Whether it is a good choice to make, you decide. However, sometimes delegating some part of your work can be life-saving.

Obey Your Schedule

It may sound like a recommendation from Captain O, but you need to have a well-considered schedule to cope with all the workload that falls on you.

Most likely, your workouts and competitions will have a fixed time and place known in advance. So once you receive your sports-related schedule, start planning your academic and socialactivity around it. As a rule, athletes have their workouts in the morning, so you benefit from having your classes at a later hour, as well as go the extra mile with your homework in less busy days.

Be Hand in Glove with Your Professors

It wouldn’t be odd to have an open conversation with your professors about how you can combine both of your lives. The earlier you explain your complicated situation, the sooner you will develop an efficient routine to help you show top results in sports and keep up with your studies. You may ask to extend your deadlines, give you more for individual reading, or assign you a different type of task. Professors appreciate proactive students and will gladly give you their helping hand.

Put Your Health and Well-Being Above Everything Else

Swamped with your coach’s instructions and piles of course assignments, you may want to sacrifice a few nights of sleep to catch up. However, it’s a road to nowhere. By disregarding your physical and mental health, you’ll hardly earn anything but may have life-long negative outcomes instead.

Rather than that, make sure you have enough sleep and eat highly nutritious food. By maintaining healthy habits, you will have enough energy to show outstanding results in sports and stay on track with your college learning.

However, if you feel that you are too overwhelmed, come clean before your professor to figure out how you can solve this problem.

Find a Studying Pal

Same as your team helps you grow as an athlete by holding the bar high, constantly challenging you, and competing with you, your studying pal can help you progress in your academic life. It’s a double win if this is also your team member who understands all the difficulties you’re going through. Thus, you will be able to improve both athletically and academically together, as well as motivate each other.

Transitions in life are always hard to bear, especially when you tear apart between two different roles. However, thoughtful planning, some discipline, and a good friend will help you to avoid lagging behind.