This resource will explore the notion of time management and will provide some strategies to manage your time effectively.
What is time management?
Time management is the ability to plan and organize the use of your time, with the aim of assigning activities and working in a realistic time frame for optimum productivity. Managing your time effectively will allow for the successful completion of assessments, keeping up to date with in-class work, and maintaining a healthy balance between your studies, employment and social life.
It is important to keep in mind that there is no single approach to time management. Every student works differently – some students work in short bursts, others may need long periods of time to gather their thoughts. Therefore it is important that you identify how you work and adapt your time management accordingly.
Learn to manage your time
Use a semester planner
A semester planner clearly lays out key dates for the semester, including when each week begins and any semester breaks. Semester planners are usually given out during orientation week, or you can create your own using a table in Word.
In your semester planner, mark when each of your assessments are due and the dates of your exams so that you can clearly see upcoming assessments and can prepare accordingly.
Create a weekly study plan
A weekly study plan is a useful method of identifying time you can spend studying and what you will spend this time doing.
Start by blocking out your obligations for the week (i.e, your work shifts, lectures and tutorials). Once you have your obligations blocked out, identify periods of time that you can dedicate to studying. Be specific and realistic – what tasks are you going to complete in each study block and are these tasks achievable?
It is useful to colour code your timetable so that you can clearly see what you have scheduled for that day, as done in the example below.
Study plan made using the application, ‘Numbers’.
Break down your assessments into smaller tasks
Break down your assessments into small chunks, and prioritise them in order of importance. For example, to study for an exam, you might need to cover several weeks of lecture and tutorial material. Write out a list detailing these tasks, consider how much time you might need, and assign each task an appropriate amount of time in your weekly study plan. This will keep you on track when completing your assessments.
Use UOWmail & Office 365
Attached to all UOW students email addresses is a subscription to Office365, which contains a suite of programs that can be used to help you manage your time more effectively. For example, the calendar application can be used to keep track of assessment due dates, and can alert you when an assessment is almost due. More information on Office365 is available here.
Identify and overcome procrastination
Procrastination is the intentional delay of an activity or task and is a common coping mechanism amongst students. Procrastination can manifest in many ways. You might find yourself procrastinating by cleaning, browsing social media or by spending too much time formatting a document. Be aware of how you procrastinate and identifying strategies to overcome it, like going for a walk to clear your head or turning off your phone.