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Time Management: Time Management: The Basics

Ideas on how to organize your time, how to avoid procrastinating, and how to effectively use term, weekly, and daily schedules.

Ways to Organize Your Time

1. Use a schedule or schedules to manage your time.

Image result for monthly & weekly PlannerWell-designed schedules serve as road maps to guide you:

  • through the months of a term,
  • through the weeks,
  • and through each day

2.  Study in one-hour blocks

As you schedule your study tasks, break them down so that they can be accomplished in one-hour blocks of time. 

  • Study, write, read, or do problems for fifty minutes.
  • After fifty minutes, take a ten minute break.  

3.  Switch subjects to maintain your motivation to study. 

For example, by alternating between reading psychology and working algebra problems you can get more done without becoming bored and tired If you have a large block of time to study, you should switch subjects every hour

4. Plan rewards…
Image result for pizzaLike ordering a pizza after finishing a tough assignment, work hard to complete your studying to watch a favorite television show, or going to a party can be a reward for completing one or two specific study goals.

5. Tackle difficult assignments first.

Think about the courses you are taking this semester. Is there one class that you really like? Is there one course that you dislike? Do you have a class that is really easy? Do you have a class that is really hard?

  • It is very common for students to first do the coursework for the classes they love or the classes they think are easy.
  • However, this isn’t the best strategy. Do the assignments you dislike first and get them out of the way.
  • By leaving the assignments that you enjoy for last it is easier to complete your “to do” list.

6. Work until you finish scheduled tasks. 

In high school, you may have studied for a specific amount of time. You did whatever you could in that time period and then closed your books.  In college, you need to get into the habit of working until you complete all the tasks that you scheduled for the day.

7. Work ahead

  • Image result for work aheadYou will find college much less stressful if you get out of the habit of doing Tuesday’s assignments on Monday. Instead, get in the habit of doing the work due Tuesday on Sunday or even on Friday.
  • Being a little ahead of the game will give you a feeling of security.
  • You should always work ahead on long-range assignments…schedule one to two hours each week to work on a research paper or project