Juggling a Busy Course Load? Time for Time Management

Have you ever looked at your to-do list and thought, there’s no way I can do all this in time? Often one of the lessons you will learn in school is not mentioned in any course description, but it’s one that will pay off in other areas of life. Time management is a skill that anyone can learn. Once you make a few good habits, you will find it is much easier to deal with large homework assignments, studying for exams, and all the other things you have to do outside of school life.

Keeping a diary of deadlines will ensure you allot plenty of time for all your tasks. When you list the things you need to do, make sure you breakdown the tasks into small details so that you will have a better idea of how long it will take to accomplish. For example, instead of thinking: I have to write a five-page essay by Friday, list each small task you need to do and estimate how much time it will take to accomplish each one. For example:

1. Brainstorm and select an essay topic: 1 hour
2. Go to library and find ten sources to research topic: 1 day
3. Write first draft of essay: 1 day
4. Edit second draft of essay: 3 hours
5. Proofread essay: 1 hour

Once you have broken down all the tasks, it’s clear to see you cannot write your essay in just one or two days. You need time to travel to the library, time to find your sources, and it’s always best to put your paper away before doing the second and third drafts.

Another important element of time management is quite obvious: get your work done quickly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are a few things you can do to get your work done faster. First, always know where your homework supplies are. Keep your notebooks, textbooks and writing implements in one place so you always know where to find them. Secondly, if you are working on a computer, make sure you keep your files organized so you don’t waste time trying to retrieve your work. The third and most important thing to do is remove all distractions from your workspace. Checking your email or text messages while you’re studying may seem like a well-earned break, but they are time killers. It’s best to save all your internet browsing for a designated break time so that you can get as much work done as possible.

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