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Time Management

I. Evaluate how you spend your time now
    A. Keep a time log
    B. Review the log and ask yourself:
        1. Did I do everything I had to?
        2. Was I rushed for time to get things done?
        3. Did I meet all deadlines?
        4. What personal habits kept me from achieving my goals?
        5. At what time of day was I most productive? Least productive?
    C. Analyze your time-spending pattern
        1. Become aware of the time of day you have the most energy, feel the most productive, and think most
            clearly—HIGH ENERGY TIMES.
        2. Become aware of the time of day you fade quickly, have the least energy, and feel lease alert
            LOW ENERGY TIMES.

II. Make lists
     A. Set up a calendar for the quarter of all exams, papers, presentations, major assignments and important
          events.
     B. Assign long-term projects to appropriate weeks.
     C. Each week, make a list of what you need to get done.
     D. Assign those projects to specific days.
     E. Each day, make a list of everything you plan to do.

III. Assign priorities
    
A. “A” priorities: tasks you need to work on now.
     B. “B” priorities: tasks that can wait until “A” tasks are done.
     C. “C” priorities: tasks that aren’t very important and can wait.

IV. Divide tasks into manageable units
     A. Make sure units are manageable.
     B. Be realistic in estimating time needed to complete (don’t underestimate).

V. Schedule
   
A. Put in fixed commitments—classes, meals, sleeping, job, athletic or music practice.
     B. Schedule your “A” priority tasks for high energy times.
     C. Schedule less demanding or less important tasks for low energy periods.
     D. Schedule in time for exercise, social activities, creative time, and relaxation. Balance is crucial.

VI. Start on your schedule—and watch for interference
     A. Distractions—visitors, phone calls, noise.
          1. Find quiet place to study.
          2. Okay to say no.
     B. Procrastination
          1. Break up the task into smaller chunks.
          2. Start with easiest part of job and work on it for 15-20 minutes.
          3. Reward yourself for each step completed.
          4. Remember how good you’ll feel when it’s done.
    C. Perfectionism
          1. 80% of best work done during first 20% of time you spend.
          2. Remember that!

VII. Tips
    A. Tackle hard subjects first
    B. Know instructions
    C. Break up tasks into manageable units
    D. Study same subject at same time each day
    E. Schedule reviews right after lecture, before discussion
    F. Use small scraps of time
    G. Take short breaks
    H. Don’t cram
    I. Don’t overcommit
    J. Pace yourself
    K. Plan ahead for major projects and exams
    L. Take care of yourself
    M. Avoid perfectionism
    N. Control distractions
    O. Focus on goals

VIII. Benefits
    A. Meet deadlines
    B. Achieve more learning, not cramming
    C. Maintain control over work and life more generally
    D. Have more truly free time