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Time Management Techniques

Quite often the most time consuming activity in a student's week can be the time spent deciding which assignment or responsibility to attend to first.  A student who has five classes to study for may spend a great deal of time thinking about which classes deserve priority.  In order to help you plan your time efficiently from the beginning of the semester, try to follow the steps outlined below.

After you've read these steps for general time management, check out Techniques for Effective Studying for specific strategies to help you make the most efficient use of your studying time.

1. Determine which of your weekly hours are already spoken for.  Consider the following categories:

  • Class Time:  How many unit hours are you taking?
  • Study Time:  Three hours of study time should be set aside for every hour of class time.  This duration is hypothetical and may not apply to every class; some classes may require more study time and others less.  Actual study time for each class will be determined in practice.
  • Job Time:  How many hours per week do you work?
  • Transit Time:  How many hours per week do you spend getting to and from school, work, and other activities?
  • Sleep Time:  Don't scrimp here; lack of sleep can throw the rest of your schedule off.
  • Meal Time:  This includes preparation, consumption, and relaxation.
  • Chore Time:  This includes household duties, laundry, shopping, etc.
  • Leisure Time:  This includes friends dropping over unexpectedly, sports, party time, recovery time, and any time that does not fall into any of the above categories.

2. TOTAL 168 hours.  (There are 168 hours in a week; another inflexible quantity).

3. Fill these times into a weekly schedule.  Note specific tasks and classes.  Avoid general categories.

4. For a week following the first design of your schedule, keep an accurate count of the time actually spent in each category, noting actual time spent studying for each class, etc.

5. Develop an accurate and realistic schedule that integrates all of your findings.

For specific strategies and tips for getting the most of your studying time, take a look at these Techniques for Effective Studying.

(Back to "Strategies, Tips, & Techniques" page)