Managing your time makes sense. Effective time management can reduce your stress level and help you to be a more successful student. By becoming aware of how you spend your time, you will be able to evaluate how efficiently you are using your time. Begin by taking a week to keep a time log. Write down a schedule of the things you did and learn where your time goes. Look at when you were most productive and least productive. Did you get everything done on time? Did you wait until the last minute to get assignments or studying done? You may need to make some adjustments to how you manage your time! You may find some of the following suggestions helpful in getting organized and using your time effectively:
- Use a calendar or planner. Be sure to write in exam dates, assignment due dates and deadlines for projects. It is a good idea to transfer this information from the syllabus of each of your classes. This way, you have your obligations recorded in a central location. Don’t forget to look ahead and keep track of what is coming up in the next week or month.
- Make a To Do list each day. By including reminders of the tasks that you must complete for the day, you increase your chances of getting things done. Don’t forget to check off things as you get them done. This can help you to feel a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.
- Know your peak times. Try to use those times of day when you find you have the most energy for the most challenging assignments or tasks. Also, studying at the same time every day can help to establish a routine.
- Avoid interruptions. Find a place to study and do homework that will be free from interruptions. Tell family, friends, and roommates that you would like to study and that you wish not to be disturbed. If you get visitors or phone calls, tell them that you will get back to them when you are done.
- Avoid procrastinating. Set deadlines for yourself. If you have a large assignment or need to study for a major exam, break up the task into smaller steps. Promise yourself a reward, like going to a movie or spending time with friends, when you are finished your work.
- Schedule time in your day for breaks and for free time. It is important to fit leisure time into your schedule. This can help you to lead a more balanced lifestyle, giving you the opportunity to get more enjoyment out of work and play.