First Year Programs

Time Management

As you approach the end of the semester it is likely that you may be overwhelmed with tests, papers, presentations, and finals! The key to effectively handling your stress and organizing your workload is time management. Below are some time management tips. Read through them and discover new ways to stay organized, be successful, and still have time for things you enjoy!

Have and use your calendar or planner. Schedule fixed blocks of time first like class and work time. Be sure to schedule time for daily activities like sleeping and eating. Make sure to indicate important dates like test dates, project or paper due dates, exam periods, and your final exam schedule. Use your calendar to help you plan ahead and minimize the effect of “crunch” times.

Set time for errands. It is easy to overlook the time we spend buying toothpaste, paying bills, and doing laundry. Plan for these errands so you don’t have to feel rushed all week. Also, don’t forget to add travel time.

Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure by telling yourself you can do a four-hour job in two hours. There are only 168 hours in a week. If you schedule 169 hours, you lose before you begin.

Allow flexibility in your schedule. Recognize that unexpected things will happen and plan for the unexpected. Leave some “holes” in your schedule; build in blocks of unplanned time. Use this “flex time” for emergencies, spontaneous activities, catching up, or packing your belongings.

Avoid scheduling marathon study sessions. Three three-hour sessions are usually far more productive than one nine-hour session. When you have to study in long sessions, stop and rest for a few minutes every hour. Give your brain a chance to take a break.

Schedule time for you- exercise, cultural activities, relationships, fun.

Maintain an ongoing list of things to do. Prioritize your “things to do” according to their importance.

Use small bits of time effectively. In fifteen minutes you can review, edit, and revise your notes from a recent lecture. Think about other ways to effectively use these small bits of time between classes and meetings.

Know what times of day are best for you- mentally and physically. Use that information to help you plan your time.

Have a tough task to do? DO IT NOW. Don’t procrastinate. If the task looks overwhelming, break it into smaller, more manageable.

Learn to say, “NO!”