Every student has his own style of managing time, but more often then not many students use their time inefficiently. The following is a list of helpful tips that students can use to improve their time-management skills:
Put all of your deadlines (class and non-class) on your schedule immediately.
Get a schedule book and take stock of your time. Take some time to write out where your time is going and what you do each day.
Look carefully at the time you are spending and determine if you are doing the activities you wish to do. Some activities have to stay-like laundry or cleaning dishes, but if you are watching too much TV, you can cut down.
If you are a procrastinator, try setting some deadlines. If you are working on a big project, break it into smaller pieces and set some deadlines for each of the components rather than working towards the final deadline.
Set priorities-you can label them based on urgency (ex. A, B, C or 1, 2, 3).
While many believe managing time can be restrictive and controlling, most find that once they begin to organize their schedules they have more free time to do the fun things in their lives.
Being clear about goals can also help with time-management. If grades are a top priority, make sure and put time you need aside for studying.
If you are balancing work, school and family responsibilities, you may be happy with B's and need to set more time aside for other priorities. Whatever your goals are, how you spend your time should be a reflection of those goals.
Avoid over-commitment - learn to say "no" (OK, say it one more time for practice: "no").
Saying "no" to friends and family can save you a lot of time. If you have defined your goals, base decisions on those goals, determining if the activity will help you reach your goals or stand in the way. If the activity is going to deter you, be willing to say no.
You may also find ways to cut down on tasks you don't like but have to do. If you don't like washing the dishes, use foil and paper plates more often.
If you don't like doing laundry, look into laundry services or find a laundry buddy you can alternate laundry loads with. Be creative in cutting down on your time.
Block out time for fun and recreation.
Scheduling "down time" can be as important as scheduling class time. Set aside time when you can do whatever you like-watch soap operas, read a novel or sit outside and enjoy the weather. This is time to enjoy free of guilt. Remember, this time helps you re-group and gather energy you need to keep working for the rest of the day or week.
Also remember to schedule time for family and friends. The pressure of school can often keep us from spending time with relationships. Set aside time to work on relationships and spend time with people you enjoy.
This may mean phone calls or letters or dates-whatever it is, it is not wasted time. Remember to manage this time carefully, and keep a balance with the other goals in your life.
Figure out where you work best (i.e. library vs. dorm room)
Make the most of your study time by determining the right time and place to study. Try and locate a quiet area where you will not be disturbed by friends and family.
If you are home, avoid the bed (too tempting for most) and turn off the ringer of your phone while you study. If friends are likely to knock on your door, put a sign up letting people know you are studying, but they can come back later.
Allow for study breaks (five to 10 minutes for every hour of work).
Study your difficult subjects first, since you will be more tired as you complete the study period. You may also benefit from taking a short break when you begin to feel tired or feel you are no longer concentrating. Take five minutes to walk around and get a drink of water or a light snack to get you energized again.
Various workshops at CTS include topics such as stress management, time management, and note and test taking skills. CTS also provides services such as groups, couples or individual counseling to help you address personal concerns. The first 10 sessions are free.
Students can sign up for CTS workshops or counseling by calling (713) 743-5454.