Time Management

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Tips on Managing Your Time


(From Making Your Mark, 9th Ed., Lisa Fraser)

1.      Do it now.

It’s a simple concept, but if you decide to tackle one of the items on your to-do list right now, your list will disappear before you know it.

2.      Say no.

There’s nothing more tempting than an invitation to go out with a group of friends, and sometimes you really need a break from your books.  However, if you can put a higher priority on studying for a term test, for example, the results will be worth the effort.  If you can’t say no, see whether you can’t force yourself to fit in your study period before you go out.

3.      Use your class time well.

Attend.  There’s no real substitute for being there.  Information is better retained if you hear it firsthand.  When it’s time to study for a test, you’ll remember more than if you had copied someone’s notes (and you’ll be taking the chance that his or her notes are complete and easy to understand).  Your study time should therefore be shorter and easier.  Listen carefully.  The more you absorb in class, the less you have to relearn on your own.  Take notes.  If you keep a good set of notes, studying for tests and exams will be easier.

4.      Start projects as soon as they are assigned.

Many people have the best of intentions, but few ever follow through on this concept.  It’s probably one of the most important, though, since the reason for most D papers is the fact that they were written the night before they were due.  Assignments always seem to pile up, and you may find that three or four major papers are due at the same time.  A little work on a report every week will allow you time to add quality to your work.

5.      Divide each task into small, manageable chunks.

When school work piles up, it’s often hard to know where to start.  Sometimes it seems as if you’ll never get everything done.  Break each task into smaller parts and the work won’t seem as overwhelming.  For example, instead of facing a whole chapter of your business administration text, set a goal of reading eight pages.

6.      Use small pockets of time well.

Many students feel it’s not worth doing schoolwork during breaks between classes because they won’t have time to finish it.  If you’ve broken your homework and assignments into smaller chunks, though, you’ll be able to complete one or two of them in that time.  You may even find yourself with a free evening.

7.      Use your best time well.

Some people are “morning” people, so they should do as much work as possible early in the day.  Nighthawks are better to save their work until the evening, when they are most effective.

8.      Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

Before the day is over, do one more thing that you were saving for “tomorrow.”  In time, you’ll find that you aren’t procrastinating as much.  Moreover, your workload will be lighter.

9.      Turn off the television.

Friends reruns are a great way to relax, but when you add The Young and the Restless, Wheel of Fortune, and Jerry Springer to the list, you may look back at your day and wonder where it went.  Unless it’s a “can’t miss” show, try to save television until you’ve finished your homework.

10.  Try the 10-minute ticker.

If you’ve got a to-do on your list that you find particularly unpleasant, try working hard on it for 10 minutes.  You may find you don’t mind continuing beyond the 10 minutes; at the very least, you’ll have more of it done.

11.  Stop studying.

Some people get carried away with trying to do too much.  Make sure that your studies don’t take over your whole life.  It’s important to balance college work with a variety of leisure activities.

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