Perhaps the most noticeable and easily identifiable result of lack of time management in college is poor grades. Without organization and follow-through, a student’s grades obviously will suffer. However, college students are affected in several other detrimental ways due to lack of time management.

Emotional Impact

According to the University of Colorado Boulder, there is a correlation between well-being and time management. Students with poor time-management skills will likely suffer from poor emotional well-being due to stress, anxiety and depression. Of course, these types of emotions will only further negatively affect their college career. In fact, a 2012 American College Health Association survey found that more than 31 percent of student participants reported difficulty functioning due to depression.

Professor Relationship

Most college professors are eager to work with their students. Great educators understand that they play a pivotal role in their students’ success. However, they also believe the process is a two-way street. A student with poor time-management skills who frequently turns in his work late or not at all can easily be viewed as uninterested and unmotivated. This, of course, will affect the student-professor relationship in a negative way and can lead to the instructor not offering extra help, since the student is not putting in equal effort. Professors are important to your success in school, but also once you graduate, because they can offer valuable letters of recommendation and references on your resume.

Bad Habits for the Future

The habits you form while in school are likely to continue when you participate in the workforce. According to a 2010 survey conducted by Randstad, the top workplace pet peeve of participants was poor time-management skills. Employees with poor time-management skills will likely find themselves without opportunities for promotion and, in worst cases, without a job. This type of employee may also find herself without friends at the office. Harvard Business Review states that there is a strong indicator between friendship with coworkers and success on the job. So, practicing good time management can help your career in various ways.


If you’ve found yourself in the habit of practicing poor time management, you can do several things to break the cycle and thus improve your life. Begin each day by making a to-do list with tasks listed in order of importance. Consider how much time you will need to complete each task and make a schedule. Include an end-of-the-day reward to help keep you motivated and accountable. This can be something simple, such as watching your favorite TV show or having a delicious scoop of ice cream. Then, throughout the day, refer back to your list and take inventory of your progress. When the day is over, if you feel you’ve been productive, celebrate your success with your reward.