Improve your time management

Being able to organise your time effectively ensures you have a balance between your study, family and leisure commitments.

There is no single time management plan for everyone. Your time management plan will be based on your personality, goals, workload and other commitments.

Here are four simple steps you can take to organise your time:

Understand the ‘big picture’

A yearly planner helps you understand the ‘big picture’. You can pick a yearly wall planner up from the university book shop or you can find a free one online.

Mark down the busiest times in your year. These may include holidays, work commitments, family celebrations, or sporting competitions. And let’s not forget university assessment periods.

For example, you may be incredibly busy with exams towards the end of each trimester. If you block this time out on your yearly wall planner, you won’t accidently schedule a camping trip during finals week.

Schedule assessment tasks

At the beginning of each trimester, you are given all your assessment details.

From assignments and class presentations to mid-semester exams and projects, all the key dates can be found in your course outline. Add these assessment deadlines to your wall planner.

Now, break down each assessment item into tasks, and estimate the time needed to complete it.

For example, how much time are you going to need to research, write, revise and edit each assignment. Add these task deadlines to your wall planner.

Schedule your week

Okay, so your yearly planner may be crammed with activities at this point. But you aren’t done planning yet. It’s time to get a weekly planner to block in:

  • All your classes e.g. lectures and tutorials
  • Periods of study at your high-energy times
  • Lower priority activities (housework, watching TV) at your lower energy times
  • Assessment tasks (see your yearly wall planner)
  • Some fun! Reward yourself for putting in the hard work

Here’s a handy Time Management Calculator to assist you in your weekly planning.

Plan for the day

Write a ‘To Do’ list each day. It can be satisfying crossing things off your list.

This can also help you stop procrastinating. Just pick a task and get on with it! Do you have a moment’s spare time? Complete one of the smaller tasks on your list.

Make sure you set goals that are challenging but achievable and study regularly for short periods of time, rather than tire yourself out.

— Extract from Study Smart —