Time Management for Students

Time Management
for Students

When the College Board asked college seniors what contributed to a successful and satisfying career in college, 73% said the, “ability to organize tasks and time effectively.”

What is it that you want
more time to do?

* Managing your time begins with an honest appraisal of what you want to do with it.
* Time management is self-management
* First step is to set your priorities.

Rank order the following pursuits in order of importance to you. Place 1 beside
the most important, 2 beside the second most important, and so on.

* ____ Class attendance
* ____ Relaxation
* ____ Volunteer service
* ____ Time with family
* ____ Exercise
* ____ Clubs/organizations
* ____ Required reading
* ____ Hobbies or entertainment
* ____ Time with girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse
* ____ Studying
* ____ Working at a job
* ____ Religious activities
* ____ Shopping
* ____ Grocery shopping
* ____ Preparing meals
* ____ Housecleaning
* ____ Non-required reading
* ____ Sleeping
* ____ Other: _____________________________

Weekly Expenditure of Time for Personal Needs, Classes, Job, Family Responsibilities, and Commuting

Number of hours per week you need to sleep                    ________

Number of hours per week spent at work                           ________

Number of hours per week spent in class                          ________

Number of hours per week spent commuting                     ________

Number of hours per week used for meals                         ________

Number of hours per week used for personal grooming     ________

Number of hours per week spent on household duties       ________

Number of hours per week spent for church/volunteering  ________

Total number of hours for personal needs     ________

7 days x 24 hours =  168  (Total hours per week)                               minus  _____ (Total number of hours for personal needs =

Number of hours available for study and leisure                _________

Weekly Expenditure of Time in Study

(Reading, Papers, Preparing for Exams, etc.)

Course 1 ____________________________     ______

Course 2 ____________________________     ______

Course 3 ____________________________     ______

Course 4 ____________________________     ______

Course 5 ____________________________     ______

Course 6 ____________________________     ______

Total number of hours of study per week            ______

Number of hours available for study and leisure  _______    minus number of hours of study             _______             equals number of hours available for leisure   _______

Staying on Top of It All

The secret of time management is – getting your work done.

Complete your assignments on time, study for tests, and do your homework.

The difference between knowing about commitments, and actually getting around to doing them is the difference between a poor time manger and a good one.

The advantages to staying ahead of your workload are many:

* You enjoy your work more
* You learn more
* You don’t get stressed out
* You have time for quality
* You get better grades
* You overall college experience is more fulfilling

* Someone who gets their work done early has time to do a quality job.

* Once the work piles up and you get too far behind, it is nearly impossible to catch up.

* Keeping track of what you have to do ensures that you don’t forget to study for a test or keep a commitment.

* Using schedules helps you to see how much work is building up.

* This will help you to spread out your workload, so you are less likely to hit a crunch time and have to pull all-nighters to get everything done.


A calendar that displays one semester at a time will allow you to keep track of important dates and deadlines.

At the beginning of the semester, take the course syllabus for each of your courses and copy onto the calendar the important dates and deadlines such as: test dates, assignment deadlines, and due dates for papers.

Pay special attention to the mid-term and end of the term when many assignments and tests are likely.

Keep your semester schedule out where you can see it so you will always be aware of what’s upcoming, and so you can plan how and where to spend your time.


A weekly schedule will give you a detailed picture of your week’s activities.

Start by filling in your must do’s – work, sleep, class attendance, commuting, etc.

Consider scheduling breaks during the day that you can use for regular study periods.

Too many students schedule their classes back to back in order to minimize the time they spend on campus. Often they find it difficult to find time to study at home or during their regular workweek.

Use the breaks in your daily class schedule to study in the library, form study groups with classmates, get tutoring, and seek help from your instructors.

Be realistic in scheduling study time and make time for your favorite activities.

A schedule is only effective if it suits your personality.


* Make a ‘to do’ list each day to remind you of what you have to do each day.
* Prioritize each item on the list, labeling the most important items A,
* the less important items B,
* and the nice to do items C.
* Be sure to start with the A’s so that you complete the most important items first.
* Go on to your B’s and C’s only if you find you have the time.

Tips For Getting Time On Your Side

* Do it now.  Decide to tackle one of the items on your ‘to do’ list right now and your list will disappear before your know it.

* Say no.  It is tempting to go out with friends instead of study or work on an assignment.  If you can put a higher priority on the schoolwork, the results will be worth the effort.

* Use class time well.  Go to class and be on time.  Listen carefully and take notes.

* Start projects as soon as they are assigned.  Assignments tend to pile up so if you can do some work each week on an assignment you are more likely to have time to add quality to the work and earn a higher grade.

* Divide large tasks into small, manageable chunks of work that can be completed at one sitting.

* Use small pockets of time well.  Utilize time between classes reviewing course material of working on homework.

* Use your best time well.  If you are a morning person schedule your hardest classes and study time in the mornings.  Schedule your hardest work for when you are most alert and effective.

* Stop procrastinating.  Don’t put it off until tomorrow if you can do it today.

* Turn of the television, radio, stereo, cell phone, etc.  Focus on studying without distractions.  Enjoy your favorite shows or music as a reward when the schoolwork is finished.

* Study difficult subjects first.

Time Consumers

* Talking with friends
* Talking on telephone
* Daydreaming
* Watching television
* Sleeping
* Listening to music
* Drop-in visitors
* Reading (other than assignments)
* Playing sports, games, or hobbies
* Doing household chores
* Partying and goofing around
* Snacking and eating
* Hanging out
* Procrastinating or worrying

Which Voices Guide Your Actions?

Take Action Voices:

* Let’s get it over with.
* It’s already late.
* You know it, just do it.
* They’ll be pleased with what I’ve done.

Do It Later Voices:

* I don’t feel like it .
* There’s still time.
* I’ll do it later.

* This other thing is more important.

Take Action Voices:

* It’s a challenge.

* It’ll be fun when I get into it.
* Once I get started, it will go quickly.
* If I don’t do it now, I’ll have to do it later.

Do It Later Voices:

* I’ll be better prepared later.
* It may solve itself if I wait.
* If I wait someone else may do it.
* I need more information.

Time management really means managing yourself.

It’s a way to be happier, more effective, and more successful.


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