Time Management

24/7 and You!

What are the best strategies for you?

Choose an organizational system: Planner, agenda, calendar, or phone app? Write down what you do for 24 hours for 7 days. This is just a log to see where your time goes. Color code your time wasters, productive times, high urgency, and class/work times. After this step, you can get down to the business of organizing your time.

Skills or Tasks to Master:

1. Plan your day. During the first 30 minutes you should create a "To Do" list for that day. Do not leave your house before creating this list. Be practical! This list should be specific and focused. It is not realistic to write an entire research paper in 2 hours. You can however, find and summarize 3 article for an upcoming research paper. Consistently use a system to delineate importance (A, B, C, or 1, 2, 3, etc.)
2. Disconnect and Focus: Just because you receive a text, call, or email, you don't have to answer it. Have a specific time to check messages, texts, emails, etc. and manage your commitments/calendar.
3. Assign time goals to assignments/projects. You are more likely to complete work if you have a time goal assigned to your work. You must be realistic and minimize distractions for this strategy to work. A class period is usually 50 minutes, so set a goal for 50 minutes of work with a 10 minute break before beginning the next goal or assignment.
4. Create designated work/study space. Designate where you will study. Make sure this area is conducive to studying. Going to the library may work if you are not surrounded by all of your friends. You may need to have a conversation with family members or roommates regarding study times and places that minimize distractions. Productivity is your goal!
5. Review lecture notes within the first 24 hours. This helps solidify your memory and increases the odds that the information will be transferred to long term memory.
6. Have a weekly review. Review notes, readings, calendars, and assignments. Set new goals for each week and make sure you have all due dates on your calendar/agenda for the upcoming week and as exams approach, the end of the semester.
7. Just Do It! Begin now! Start somewhere. Sometimes procrastination is an easy habit. Break large assignments into smaller chunks. The key is personal responsibility and getting started.
8. Begin with your hardest assignment when you are fresh. Again, this is where procrastination comes back to damage our learning. Tackle the difficult topics/assignments early so you can ask questions, ask for help, review, reread, etc. College is supposed to be hard.
9. Practice healthy habits! Sleep is required. College students are chronically sleep deprived. A tired brain does not learn well. You need 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. If you are a driver, drowsy driving mimics and is just as dangerous as drunk driving or driving while impaired.
10. Plan something fun every day. Your time constrains still apply. 10 minutes of fun that gets you laughing and keeps everything in perspective is healthy. Plan a weekly reward with a longer time allotment on less busy days or the weekend, depending on your schedule.

Be Proactive versus Reactive.

Multitasking is a myth.

Focus. Switching back and forth between tasks reduces efficiency. You may feel like you are spinning your wheels because you are! Choose one thing and complete it well. Use the positive momentum to tackle your next task.

Create Study Groups

1. Designate clear guidelines. You are there to study. Socializing can be the reward after the study group is over.
2. Set specific beginning and ending times.
3. Be an equal participant. You cannot come and not contribute.
4. Be prepared with necessary books, notes, materials, etc.