Time is a scarce commodity in college – possibly for the first time in your life you will need to think about how you spend your days. As a full-time student, school is a full-time job. It is expected that you work 2-3 hours outside of class for every hour spent in class. Given this, in addition to other commitments, it is easy to get over-whelmed. Developing a plan for time management is hard work, but it is worth the effort.
Five steps to successful time management:
1. Set specific academic and personal goals
2. Create a term calendar, recording major events
3. Create a weekly schedule of your classes, labs, meetings, etc
4. Decide on specific times to work on each course
5. Make a to-do list for each day the night before or during breakfast.
Define your Goals
- Immediate and longer term goals are will assist you in prioritizing your activities
- Make sure your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound.
- Prioritize and organize your work:
§ Divide projects/assignments into smaller tasks – develop a timeline for completing these individual components
§ Prioritize. Determine which tasks are most important – focus on these first, before they become urgent
§ Create a calendar and/or list of things that need to be accomplished with dates and deadlines
§ Allow for flexibility/changes
§ Develop a regular routine while learning how to manage your time and work
§ Reward yourself for meeting goals/accomplishing tasks
Develop & maintain a schedule that accommodates your needs and helps you to achieve your goals
- Create a schedule that works for you. This personal approach gives you the flexibility to include the things that are most important to you and takes into account your personal style.
- Your personal style: some things to keep in mind:
§ When are you most alert (are you a morning or night person?)
§ How much time/energy is needed for each subject?
§ What type of work environment works best for you?
§ Do you do better studying alone or in groups?
§ Do you take advantage of the help (e.g., tutoring) that is available?
§ What are your time wasters? When do you tend to waste time?
§ Do others contribute to your inefficient time management? If so, how?
Tools to Help You Get Organized
Some things to consider when designing your schedule
- Record all class times and regular commitments (e.g., practice, meetings, work, etc.)
- Record all activities you want/need to do on a regular basis (e.g., exercise, eating times, sleep, etc.)
- Block out study/review time for each class
§ Keep in mind your preferences for study (time of day, place, etc.)
§ Longer blocks of time (while taking short breaks) allow for serious engagement in your work
§ 2-3 hours of work out of class is recommended for each hour spent in class
- Keep some blocks empty to allow for last minute changes – personal or academic things that may come up
- Keep time open for fun/relaxation/socializing
SCHEDULING YOUR DAY
ANALYSIS OF YOUR STUDY ENVIRONMENT