Being a Student: Time Management

Time Management

Tips for Making a Master Schedule

  • Block out exam times and any other fixed time commitments, like work or club meetings.
  • Block out time for the basics of daily living (eating, sleeping, and travel time)
  • Plan and block out study time for each final test or paper.
  • Some tips: Plan at least one hour blocks for study, and schedule large blocks of time for accomplishing major projects.
  • Know your high energy and "down" times during the day and use them wisely.
  • Print out this blank schedule and fill in your things for the week. Remember, your schedule will differ from week to week, with different aspects of your life taking priority. Also, within the week, things come up, so you might have to make adjustments.


Making To-Do Lists  

  • Sit down and list all the things you need to get done in the upcoming week before the week begins. 
  • Assign tasks to given days of the week. Don’t forget to consult your master schedule when assigning tasks to the given day and be sure to plan ahead for large tasks in the upcoming month.
  • Prioritize tasks: for each item on your list, apply the following "test": Is this something I must get done, should get done, or could complete? You can use a (1),( 2),( 3) system; an A, B, C arrangement; or M, S, C (for Must, Should, Could).
  • You may even want to assign times to the "1's" if you have a very hectic day ahead.
    • An example: Monday
      (2) Read 3 chapters in Psychology
      (2) Call home
      (3) Go to the bookstore
      (1) Begin to explore a topic
      (2) Jog
      (1) Complete math homework
      (1) Meet Jim at 5:00
  • Carry your To-Do list with you during the day. Consult it when needed to make sure that you at least complete your "1's" or "Musts" during the course of the day.
  • Review your list at the end of the day. Reward yourself for tasks completed on schedule and make any adjustments needed during the rest of the week.


Murphy's Laws:

  • Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  • Everything takes longer than you think it will. 
  • Parkinson's Law: Work tends to expand to fill the time allotted.
  • Balance your activities -schedule destressing times to allow yourself to unwind
  • Schedule reward times for using study time effectively.
  • Schedule time for physical exercise and recreation.
  • Schedule social activities, including time for just chatting.
  • Keep your schedule flexible! Many experts advise allowing two hours of unscheduled time in a 24 hour period.
  • Now review your schedule: Is it realistic? Can you stick to it?


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