Time Management for School Success
How can I make the most of my time? People ask that question all the time. Managing your time becomes
really important in getting off to a strong start for the entire year. Here are some tips that you might find useful!
1. New activities, new classes, and new friends will offer many new opportunities - don't agree to join everything
without really thinking about how much time it will take. Do agree to join things once you've learned what they
really involve. Join what you really want to do and what you have time to do.
2. Try to identify what time of day you do certain types of work the best - morning, afternoon, or evening.
If you are most clear-headed in the morning, see if you can schedule more difficult work for that time. You can
get much more done during your productive times if you are aware of them and use them.
3. Before using a calendar, determine which kind of calendar works best for you - daily, weekly, or monthly.
Do you need to see way ahead in order to plan? Do you need to focus on today? Be sure that you update
your calendar so that it makes it easy for you to remember things. And be sure to mark off the things that you've
4. At the beginning of the semester, term, or marking period, try to figure out early how many tests, term papers,
and other projects you will have. Are they all due at the same time? Put them all on your calendar just as
you'd put in your social activities. Now figure out how much time you need to work on each. Does one project
require you to work ahead? Does another one require you to work in groups? Try to schedule in the time you
need by working backwards from your assignments and you'll feel much less pressure. My best students work
5. Are you one of those people who says that they "work best under pressure" so you leave things go until the
last minute. That's fine, if someone else in a group project isn't depending on you. It's also fine if you know that
you will be able to obtain any special resources that you need. Remember, computers notoriously give
problems right when everything is due, and files suddenly disappear at the last minute. Try to plan in time for
some of these things to happen. Also, make copies of anything you can't afford to lose, like computer files
of your work. It takes just a little time to make copies, and much more time to try to get a file off a disk that's
6. Try to figure out when you will have time when you are waiting for something to happen - for instance, you may
have to sit and wait your turn in sports, play rehearsals, and other activities. Determine what kind of work you
can bring along to do that "fits" well in those waiting times. Sometimes, just making notecards of key terms,
equations, and concepts can help you review and use your time well.
7. Try to make time for face-to-face time with your family and friends. We spend much time online today and
often spend less time hanging out face to face. I'm a real believer in the importance of being with people in a
social setting so you get the support and relaxation you need. Be sure to get your quota of "in-person smiles"
8. Many time management experts advise that you prioritize with a "to do" list. This is good advice for people
who can do things one at a time and who will follow their schedules. Not everyone works that way, though, and
you may have several different things that are all important - such as 5 term papers due during a marking period.
You may actually need to be working on several of them at the same time, so break them down into meaningful
smaller tasks so that your assignments are done throughout your marking period.
9. Focusing on the small failures makes it difficult to see and enjoy the small successes. Take time to enjoy the
smaller things that you accomplish, rather than only being happy when a big project is over. Don't focus on something
that failed while overlooking something that succeeded.
10. Finally, take time to think and to cultivate your mind. There may be things that you want to do - like learning to
sing, or learning a new sport, or reading a good book - that you would do on your own. Don't let all the busyness
of daily life prevent you from spending some quality time on yourself.