Seven time management tips for busy university students

Seven time management tips for busy university students


How to handle the pressures of school with class 

Many will tell you that time management is an important part of getting through post-secondary education and life; these seven tips will show you how to use your time effectively. Try out these tips to find what works best for you.

1. Be Aware

Do you know how you spend your time? Time flies when you’re having fun! This means that you may be spending more time than you think on activities you enjoy. Binge-watching Netflix can be fun, but it is easy to lose track of how many hours you’ve spent on your favourite shows. Knowing how you are spending your time will help when you need to prioritize.

2. Prioritize

There are tons of things to do at university. You need to decide what’s important to you because you can’t do everything. When you have too much on your plate, it is okay to say no.

When you have too much on your plate, it is okay to say no.  

Once you have decided what you want to do, you need to decide what needs to be done first.

For example, when choosing what assignment to do first there are three things to consider:

ⅰ. The due date

ⅱ. How long the assignment is going to take

ⅲ. How interesting you find the assignment

It is important to keep the due date in mind, but it may be beneficial to get some of the shorter assignments done so that they are off your plate. It is also good to do projects that are less interesting to you first, as you tend to procrastinate on them more and may find it hard to power through them if you don’t have an interesting assignment to look forward to next.

3. Write It Down

Have one place where you can see everything you need to do. An agenda is a great way to view when everything is due at a glance. Colour coding your agenda can make it even easier to follow.

Use your class schedule to set things that you will do every week. Set blocks of time for the things you want to prioritize. Do not forget your distance education classes!

Write a to-do list for the day and cross off items as you complete them. This helps you to feel accomplished, and will leave you feeling sure about what you still need to get done.

4. Organize

Organize yourself at the beginning of the semester and make sure you continue using the organizational system you put in place.

Keeping yourself organized is an important aspect of time management. You do not want to spend hours trying to find where you saved a file or where you put a piece of paper. Organize yourself at the beginning of the semester and make sure you continue using the organizational system you put in place.

You get all the information you need for your classes at the beginning of the semester. Your syllabus will tell you all of the due dates and assignments you have for each class. Organizing all that information at the beginning of the semester will make the rest of the semester much easier to manage.

Keep events you want to attend in mind when planning. For example, if you want to go on vacation during reading week, make sure that you plan to have everything you need done beforehand.

5. Start Right Away

Start thinking about what you are going to do for an assignment as soon as you get it. This allows you to gather materials you will need as soon as possible. For some materials, you may need to order through the library system, which takes time. Having a plan and the materials needed will make completing the project easier

You hit a point when more time at a task does not mean you are getting anything accomplished. Take a break and come back to it with a clear head.

6. Set Dates

Although there are deadlines for tests and projects, sometimes we need extra time or a different date. If you need an extension, ask early. Even though there are due dates, it is a good idea to set your own deadlines, for example, a week before the due date. This helps to make sure you are done on time and avoid the rush that leads to the dreaded all-nighter.

7. Take Breaks

It is important to take breaks for your mental and physical health. Make sure you are taking care of yourself properly, with enough food, sleep, and exercise. You hit a point when more time at a task does not mean you are getting anything accomplished. Take a break and come back to it with a clear head.

Different tactics work for different people. Try applying these tips this semester and assessing whether they positively impact your life, academic and otherwise. If you know of any other time management tips then please let us know on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. You can find us @theontarion.

Photo by Alora Griffiths/The Ontarion.

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