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 —


Tips to improve your time management

What do Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and Sigmund Freud have in common? Well, apart from being dead… They’re all great at time management.

Time management is a key factor to a balanced life – and, academic success.

For example, if you start your assignment the night before, chances are (a) you’re not gonna get a HD, and (b) you’re not great at time management. And, I’ll guess you probably spent the week beforehand stressing about the assignment a little? (#notfun) 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of time management tips to help you stay on top of things and avoid turning into a stress-head.

Plan things early
Have an assignment due in three weeks, or an exam coming up? Start two to three weeks beforehand. By working incrementally on the assignment, you’ll feel better knowing it’s started, and will surprise yourself with the progress you make! Stick the dates in your calendar, and maybe even include deadlines for progress.

Write a to-do list
Get your task list out of your brain and onto a piece of paper. But make sure it’s attainable. You’re not going to finish 10 separate readings and write the introduction, methodology, and discussion of an assignment piece all in one day. Be realistic, and space it out. This will help you achieve goals and stay on track, plus ticking off an item always feels good.

Prioritise your work
Complete the most pressing tasks first. Yes, you may need to buy a Fathers Day present eventually, but it can probably wait until after you’ve finished your class readings for the week.

Take a break
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (it’s a proverb, look it up). Don’t spend all your time studying, you’ll go mad. Take a break, got outside. Sunlight’s always good. Or check out our post on movies to take a break to. But don’t start watching 13 Reasons Why in your break, because trust us, you won’t stop.


How to improve your study skills

Photo of study station

Study skills are essential to academic success.

But there are oh so many facets: critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, effective note taking, assignment preparation, assignment writing, referencing, exam preparation…

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a guide to all this? With strategies and resources designed to help you succeed in your studies?

Oh, lucky – there is!

The library’s study skills page is full of self-help resources to help you achieve academic success.

To start off, you can take an interactive tutorial on preparing for university, and learn to maximise your study time through tips on critical thinking, time management, reading effectively, and effective note taking.

Now we’re getting to the gritty end of the trimester, you might find our tutorials on preparing for your assignment and writing your assignment super handy. Trust us, good preparation and planning will make writing your assignment so much easier (give it a shot!).

We’ve also got tips to help you become a referencing guru. Almost all assessment pieces have dedicated marks for referencing, so it’s worth taking the time to get good at referencing.

And with the exam block looming, we recommend you take a look at our information on exam preparation to help you ace exams.

There are even tips on improving your social media skills. I know, you’re a millennial, what can we teach you that you don’t already know, right? But check it out, you might learn a thing a two. Like how to use social media to help land a job.


This Week in the Library – Week 2

this-week-in-the-library

Library and Learning Services workshops are FREE and available to all students, HDR candidates and staff.

To view the entire workshop timetable, please visit the Workshops and Training web page.

Booking is required for all computing and library workshops due to a limited number of places available in the training rooms.

Academic Skills

All sessions are one hour in length unless specified. Booking is optional for Academic Skills Workshops.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 7/3 10.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (G10_2.25) Gold Coast
Mon 7/3 1.00 Reading and note taking strategies Library (N53_1.51) Nathan
Tue 8/3 11.00 Academic writing Library (M13_2.09) Mt Gravatt
Wed 9/3 10.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (M13_2.09) Mt Gravatt
Wed 9/3 12.00 Academic writing Library (LO3_3.29) Logan
Wed 9/3 4.00 Setting up your own topic or research question *(PG) Library (N53_1.51) Nathan
Thu 10/3 12.00 Academic writing Library (S03_2.25F) South Bank
Fri 11/3 10.00 Time management Library (N53_1.51) Nathan

Computing Skills

Bookings are required for all computing workshops.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 7/3 9.30 Long Documents Made Easy (3 hours) Library (N53_1.50) Nathan
Mon 7/3 12.30 Excel: Formulas and Organising Data (3 hours) Library (G10_2.04) Gold Coast
Thu 10/3 9.30 Excel: Formulas and Organising Data (3 hours) Library (N53_1.50) Nathan

Library Skills

Bookings are required for all library workshops. All sessions are one hour in length with an optional 30 minute extension for activities and questions.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 7/3 12.00 Referencing (1 hour) Library (G10_2.09) Gold Coast
Mon 7/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (N53_1.49) Nathan
Tues 8/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (S03_2.25F) South Bank
Wed 9/3 12.00 Referencing (1 hour) Library (N53_1.49) Nathan
Thurs 10/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (G10_2.09) Gold Coast
Thurs 10/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (M13_2.09) Mount Gravatt


This Week in the Library – Week 1

this-week-in-the-library

Library and Learning Services workshops are FREE and available to all students, HDR candidates and staff.

To view the entire workshop timetable, please visit the Workshops and Training web page.

Booking is required for all computing and library workshops due to a limited number of places available in the training rooms.

Academic Skills

All sessions are one hour in length unless specified. Booking is optional for Academic Skills Workshops.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 29/2 10.00 Time management Library (G10_2.25) Gold Coast
Mon 29/2 1.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (N53_1.51) Nathan
Tue 1/3 11.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (M13_2.09) Mt Gravatt
Wed 2/3 10.00 Reading and note taking strategies Library (G10_2.25) Gold Coast
Wed 2/3 12.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (LO3_3.29) Logan
Wed 2/3 4.00 Preparing for Postgraduate study *(PG) Library (N53_1.51) Nathan
Thu 3/3 12.00 Analysing assignment questions Library (S03_2.25F) South Bank
Fri 4/3 10.00 Reading and note taking strategies Library (N53_1.51) Nathan

Computing Skills

Bookings are required for all computing workshops.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Mon 29/2 12.30 Excel Essentials (3 hours) Library (G10_2.04) Gold Coast
Thu 3/3 9.30 Excel Essentials (3 hours) Library (N53_1.50) Nathan

Library Skills

Bookings are required for all library workshops. All sessions are one hour in length with an optional 30 minute extension for activities and questions.

Date Time Workshop Location Campus
Tues 1/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (G10_2.09) Gold Coast
Wed 2/3 12.00 Researching for your assignment (1 hour) Library (N53_1.49) Nathan
Thurs 3/3 12.00 Referencing (1 hour) Library (N53_1.49) Nathan
Fri 4/3 12.00 Referencing (1 hour) Library (G10_2.09) Gold Coast