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Introduction to Time Management : sub-module 1 of 7 of time management

The idea of time management might be new to you. Basically, time management strategies allow you to plan out your time so that you can get things done and have a more balanced, less stressful life. In this module, we’ll explore why you need time management techniques, how to figure out how much time you actually need to accomplish your tasks.


Top Tips

  • Figure out how much time you need.Determine the time you need in a week, including for things like sleep and commuting; it’s probably more time than you think.
  • Plan one ‘study’ hour per class hour.To be successful, you should be doing about an hour of out-of-class work like studying, reading, and working on assignments for every hour you spend in class.
  • Think ahead in the semester.You will probably have more assignments and tests later in the semester, so it’s good to plan ahead.

Your Time Management Needs

Below are two videos that describe two types of typical college students: a recent high school graduate and a mature student. In addition, you can complete the Time Audit activity to assess your personal time needs.

How to Be Realistic About Your Time

Based on the earlier activity, you now know how many hours you need in a week to meet your personal and school commitments. Watch this video or read the information below for some tips and tools to help you manage your time and bring some balance to your week.

Questions to assess your time needs

Effective time management means creating a balance that allows you to do the things you need to do without getting completely overwhelmed and stressed. This requires being realistic about how much time you need. Try asking yourself these questions:

There are 24 hours a day, and 168 hours in a week. It sounds like a lot until you consider that you’ll spend some of that time sleeping, eating, getting from place to place, and other things like that. You may be surprised at how much time some little tasks take!

Depending on your program, you should be spending about an average of 1 hour outside of class for every hour you spend in class. For example, 18 hours of class every week means 18 hours every week working on assignments, studying for tests, doing readings, preparing for labs,etc. Added to class time, that’s 36 hours every week - the equivalent of a full time job!

Think about when you will do your outside-of-class work. Consider the following:

  • Spread it out.
    If you have six hours of class on Tuesday, you don’t necessarily need to go home and study for another six hours. You could plan that study time for a lighter class day, or on the weekend, when you have more time. When you spread out your study time over 7 days of the week, it will likely take you only 2-3 hours per day outside of class time. Working a little every day will be better for establishing a routine, and it will also improve your learning and memory.
  • Plan study time for when you are best able to do your work.
    For example, how effective are you at 1 o'clock in the morning? Not all hours are created equal. One hour of good quality study time is better than three hours when nothing is sinking in. It’s just as much about quality as quantity.
  • Consider how your workload might change throughout the semester.
    Earlier on in the semester, you likely won’t have a lot of big assignments and tests to worry about; however, as the semester goes on, your workload will increase. You’ll likely have several large assignments and tests due all around the same time. Remember that you can think beyond just one week at a time. If you have several busy weeks later in the semester, it can help to get started in an earlier week, when you have more time.