Studying & Writing Effectively

Managing your time

Effective time management can decrease your stress and increase your success.

Work through the following questions to identify areas where you can make positive changes. Book an appointment with a Writing and Learning Strategist anytime to discuss your individual time management needs.What are your goals?

  • Consider your goals for school, work, relationships, self and other.
  • Goals need to be specific and realistic.
  • Attach your goals to a time frame:

Short-term: 1 month-1 year
Mid-range: 1-3 years
Long-term: 3-5 years

Do you have enough time to achieve your goals?

  • Analyze how much time you spend in an average week on sleep, meals, classes, studying, socializing and other activities.
    Here is a sample time analysis for an imaginary student.
    Now complete your own time analysis.
    Finally, book an appointment with a Writing and Learning Strategist to discuss your findings.
     
  • After completing your time analysis, the next step is to complete a weekly timetable of your fixed responsibilities and tasks. This will help you to gauge whether you have enough time for all your commitments. Remember: for every hour you are in class, set aside two hours (or more) for studying. For example:

3 classes per week = 9 hours in class
9 x 2 = 18 hours of study time (outside of class) every week

When are things due?

  • On a 4-month calendar, record due dates for tests, papers, class presentations, projects, and lab reports.
  • Add any other commitments such as medical appointments, holidays and family celebrations.
  • Have you written down all important events and assignments? Writing things down makes planning a lot easier.
  • Next, use a monthly calendar to plan in more detail. To avoid common pitfalls with calendar use, book an appointment with a Writing and Learning Strategist.

What are the steps involved in each task?

  • Break assignments down into smaller, more manageable steps that you can complete in under an hour.
  • Use an action plan to record the steps. Remember to assign a deadline to each step.
  • Record each deadline on your calendar.

When are you going to work on each step?

  • Check over the next few weeks to see what needs to be done.
  • Write down what you need to do for the next 3 days.
  • Prioritize these tasks and choose when you want to do them.
  • Have you assigned days and times for each step? Assigning a time to work on a step can really help motivate you to do it -- on time.

How are you going to celebrate when you finish each task?

  • Reward yourself for a job well done! This helps to set you up for your next goal.
     

More detailed PDF document