Time management

Time management means making optimum use of your time.

Setting priorities
The way to set priorities is by determining which tasks are important and which are urgent.

 

Important

Not important

Urgent

Highest priority, do right away.

Plan for the end of the day when highest priority matters have been dealt with.

Not urgent

Plan when to do them. Don’t postpone them too long.

This is not urgent and can be postponed until a quieter time.


Planning realistically
Next, you can plan the highest priority tasks. Different study activities require different investments of time. You can only plan well if you know how much time an activity takes. If you are often short of time, it would be a good idea to log your daily activities and how much time you spend on them for a week. You can do this at toggl.com, for example.

Make a plan
Once you have an idea of how much time specific tasks take, you can make an effective working plan. Your plan should follow the SMART guidelines: 

Specific
Measurable
Acceptable
Realistic
Time-constrained 
 
Dealing with procrastination
A plan will only work if you are strict with yourself. Do what you have resolved to do and adjust your planning if things take more time than expected. If you tend to put things off, you can read the following tips on how to avoid procrastination. If this is not enough, the student psychologists can give you more advice.

Attend the workshop
You can learn more about improving your time management skills in the time management workshop

Ten tips for avoiding procrastination

Do

Don’t

1. Make a clear written plan with an overview of all your study and other activities.

1. Just rely on vague plans such as ‘I have to pass this exam’ and ‘I’ll see how it goes’.

2. Set priorities for your study and other activities.

2. Rely on unclear and unrealistic strategies like ‘just study everything’ and ‘catch up on everything.’ 

3. Decide how much time you need, then make a realistic schedule.

3. Assume without thinking it through that you have plenty of time or that you can easily do the things you need to do in much too short a time.

4. Think about your performance realistically. Find out what works and do more of that!

4. Attribute your achievements to luck, help from others, etc. 

5. Build your confidence based on facts; be pleased about your successes and build on them.

5 Constantly doubt your abilities and look for outside affirmation.

6. Set a time and start your work then (as you would in a job).

6. Say “I’ll start tomorrow”.

7. Get down to work, no matter how you feel about it.

7. Wait for inspiration or until you “feel like it”.

8. Face your mistakes and learn from them.

8. Blame yourself if you don’t succeed right away.

9. Overcome the habit of avoiding things, even if they make you anxious, and get on with what you need to do. You will learn that the stress lessens and you can handle the study load

9. Avoid starting work because you are afraid of failing.

10. Reward yourself when you are doing well

10. Make yourself dissatisfied by constantly thinking of all the things you still need to do.

Last Modified: 13-12-2016