The CNE ends this weekend signaling the unofficial end of summer. It is now time to switch to a fall schedule and head back to school. In University, time management is necessary to stay on top of your schoolwork. A lot of students including myself, struggle with time management. There are four strategies I use to stay on track, and by sharing them I hope to help others stay on track too!
1. Create a Pattern
If you struggle with time management, scheduling your time seems like an impossible task. However, structure is essential to effective time management. I suggest creating a daily or weekly pattern using your existing appointments as a base. For university students creating a study pattern around your class schedule is a good start. Since attending class is something you do regularly (I hope!), you can plan a study break before or after a certain class. For example, on Tuesdays and Thursdays you may decide to always complete one of your weekly quizzes after your math class. Then, completing one weekly quiz on Tuesdays and Thursdays becomes part of your weekly schedule.
2. Use two Calendars
If you have difficulty completing assignments on time, keeping two calendars can help. I find using a separate paper calendar for schoolwork keeps me focused. It stays at my workstation and I check it daily and update when needed. This helps to visually anticipate due dates as well as deliver a sense of accomplishment as they are checked off. All other non-academic appointments and reminders are kept in my phone. This prevents me from overbooking myself and I can always check my phone to see what I have planned.
3. Set Reminders
This one is obvious, but it is so helpful I cannot leave it out. Make use of the alarm setting on your phone. Set a reminder for yourself two days before every event so you do not forget an appointment. If you decide to spend 30 minutes on an activity, set a 30-minute timer. This is most helpful for those who find themselves easily distracted.
Time management is a skill, which means to get it right you have to practice. Try different strategies until you find what works best for you.
I believe in you, good luck!
Director of Training, DECA U Guelph 2017-2018