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The purpose of time management is to help you make good decisions about how best to use the time available to you. While it is certainly about helping to develop study efficiency, good time management can also play a significant role in reducing stress and improving one’s overall well-being.
Making Your Time Visual
- Semester at a Glance: Start with a wide view of the semester. To help visualize the whole semester, find a calendar that works for you, whether it's a paper or digital version.
- In the calendar, plug in start dates and due dates for major assignments.
- For a paper calendar, post it somewhere prominent so that you can be routinely reminded of upcoming responsibilities. For a digital calendar, be sure look at it throughout the day. Many apps have reminders and other features to help keep you on schedule.
- See Your Week Clearly: In order to create a weekly planner, you can download our weekly planning grid. You can also accomplish similar results with iCal or Google calendar. When filling out your planner:
- Fill-in obligations. Mark all course requirements and other requirements.
- Fill in blocks of time for YOU. Be sure to be realistic and plan for enough sleep, good nutrition, and some exercise. Each is crucial to consolidation of memory and learning.
- Identify your available blocks of time for study, even if they are only small chunks of time.
- Planning study (when, what, how, how long?): Once you have identified your available windows of time for study, you can focus on what to DO during those study times. Explicitly plan what you’d like to do during a study period. Think about:
- Where you will study.
- What time of day is best for the most cognitively demanding work...and when you will be most tired. Plan activities better suited to each.
- Stage of the study cycle — for the class or classes you decided to focus on, what activities will be most useful.
- A progression of activities — what will you do first, second, third...
- How much time to devote to each activity — adjust your goals and expectations accordingly.
- When to build in breaks.
- When you can next work with that material, and what you will do then.
As you plan your study, remember the goal of both keeping up with processing new material AND of working with material from previous days using strategies for active, practice-based, question-based self-testing and study. Remember as well to be flexible and to adjust as needed — but to keep the key goals in mind.
Interested in learning how to make the most of your time? Book an appointment with Center for Academic Success to discuss tools and strategies to help you best manage the time you have available.