Time Management

Plan your time

Choose your preferred tool for keeping track of assignments, readings and rescheduled tests.  It does not matter whether this is your BUSU agenda, your phone or a wall calendar.  Whatever it is, pick something that you will actually use (rather than sit in the bottom of your backpack).

A wall calendar has the added benefit that your family or roommates can see when you are likely to be unavailable and help you make adjustments from your original syllabi or course outlines.  Working from home is still working!  Watch for communication from your faculty on changes to due dates, assignments and tests and update your calendar.

Block out time for class sessions to review the material your professor makes available.  In some cases this will mean more reading assignments and in some cases this will mean more time required to review lecture slides or practice problem sets.

  • Avoid marathon studying and instead try to study in shorter blocks of 30-60 minutes to avoid fatigue and stay on track.
  • Try to block out at least three hours per week for each course.  If there is a course that you already know you procrastinate about, try for 6-8 half hour blocks of time per week.
  • Put your phone on stun!  Try any of the detox apps to reduce the temptation to check your phone during the 30-50 minute study cycle.
  • The Online Resource Guide provides information on breaking up your study time, setting study goals and making learning a habit.

Be realistic about how much you are able to accomplish in one day.  Think about building in extra buffer time for big assignments, and setting a self-imposed rough draft deadline a few days before the actual deadline.  Try out an Assignment Calculator to help set goals. Use your syllabi or course outlines to draft a weekly schedule.  What is just one thing can you get done today that will make this week more manageable?  Divide and conquer!

It will be up to you to define the structure of your day.  Once you know how much time you will need to devote to your coursework, think about the best time of day for your to do that.  Are you a morning person?  If not, don’t plan on working at 8 am!  If you find that your are having trouble sticking to a schedule, consider keeping a time log of just how much time you are spending on various activities each day.  If the results show that you are spending too much time on Netflix, then this will help you identify your ‘black holes of time’ and re-align your daily activities with your priorities.  Check out these anti-procrastination and motivation strategies for more suggestions.