For most of us, time management is really self management and is improved when we are able to use time as an ally rather than an enemy. This involves being realistic about how we are using our time and how that meets or conflicts with various personal goals and responsibilities.
Some ways to manage time:
- Look at your semester once you have the syllabi for each new class. Plot on a calendar generally where large assignments, tests, quizzes, papers, and other significant responsibilities fall (i.e. recitals, a cousin’s wedding, work, etc.) Then figure out how soon you need to begin preparing for each item, and jot that on the calendar.
- Keep a daily planner, and transfer information from the big-picture calendar to the daily planner at the beginning of each week.
- Schedule study breaks, exercise, meals, sleep, laundry, and time with friends. Be sure you plan time for these important things.
- Allow yourself to tell friends “no” if you really need to use the time for something else. They will invite you to socialize again.
- Study away from your phone and your computer if they are distracting.
- Avoid marathon study sessions. Study in blocks of no more than 45 minutes with a 15 minute break, setting specific goals for each block of study time.
- Generally, recent studies show that students who pull all-nighters to study have lower grades than those who sleep at night.
- Note your best time of day and study then; study in an area where you are not easily distracted.
- Study difficult subjects first, when you have more energy.
- Use the “two for one” idea; if you are doing your laundry, bring a text to read or flashcards to memorize.
- Get help if procrastination is significantly impacting your academic functioning. The staff at SASC (563) 387-1270 or the Counseling Service (563) 387-1375 can help.