5 Key Aspects of a Successful College Routine

One of the best ways to stay organized is to develop a routine that helps you balance your physiological, psychological, academic, extracurricular and social needs. We’re going to talk about each of those needs a little bit. To help us with that, we’ll look at a prime example: Spongebob Squarepants



Eat. Sleep. Exercise. We know that these three things are basic needs that you need to satisfy  in order to take care of the rest of the needs (thanks, Maslow!) so try to prioritize these and put them into your daily schedule first. Of course, they are relatively flexible, but they are still necessary and should never be omitted. Exercising can be as simple as walking to class every day or as intense as having a Karate contest with your best pal. Do what works for you, but never forget how vital bodily health is to successfully carrying out the rest of your tasks!


Mental health is equally as important. With midterms and big projects, stress can be at an all-time high, but with a little bit of me-time productivity levels will actually shoot up. Instead of letting your stress distract you from your studies, try scheduling in some time to do something for yourself. Depending on how stressed you are and how much you have to do, aim for between 15 minutes and an hour! (Note: This it NOT me telling you that it’s okay to totally ignore all of your academic needs) Taking time for mental health needs, along with physiological needs, sets the basis for a good routine.



Now this one’s a little more tricky and what works varies from person to person. Of course, you have to work around your class schedule so start there. Try to look at the calendar view of your schedule on MyUI and look for the gaps. While remembering to consider times for physical and psychological needs, try to pick specific times to work on studying. If it helps, you can block out your class schedule in Google calendar and add in set blocks of time for studying so you can’t miss it. Do your best not to schedule other activities in that study time so you don’t have to struggle to find new time for studying. In the end, the best thing you can do is try different ways of fitting studies into a schedule. If something doesn’t work, try something new!



This is another one of those things that already tends to have set times that cannot be moved around much. So add your work and extracurricular hours into that Google calendar. If you end up having to move anything from the prior categories around, make sure you are still allowing yourself the same amount of time for that activity, just stick it in a different time slot.



Social interactions are a little bit lower on the list of priorities, but that doesn’t mean that you can cut it out completely. It’s okay to use your free time to spend time with yourself, but don’t forget to spend some time with friends or give your family a call. Their support system will be a big help if your routine can’t accommodate everything you need to get done.

Sometimes unexpected things happen and you have to veer away from your regular routine. That is completely normal. However, once you catch back up, make sure you get back into your regular routine.It will help you feel more organized and consistently accomplish big tasks. This is definitely a generic guide to developing a routine, but that is because everybody has different struggles. If these tips aren’t working for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at uc-StudentOutreach@uiowa.edu and one of us can meet with you to help make a custom plan that could work for you.


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