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Student Learning Success Guides!

TIME MANAGEMENT is a skill you can develop and apply for the rest of your life. Planning, prioritizing, and using time effectively and efficiently are all parts of the time-management puzzle.


Print a schedule organizer that works for you from the Tools & Resources section.

Schedule exam and assignment due dates for the entire term, staggering and creating "fake" earlier due dates when multiple assignments must be submitted close together.

Add start date reminders 2 to 4 weeks earlier than the due date for each of your assignments and exams to ensure you start working and studying early.

Use more detailed weekly or daily plans and lists as reminders of specific tasks. Cross off the tasks you've completed! This will give you a sense of accomplishment.


Describe your process for writing papers and studying for exams.

When you try to manage your time, what are some challenges you encounter?

How do you keep track of and plan ahead for all your deadlines and events, including school, work, social events, relaxation, etc.?

Which strategies do you use to manage and set boundaries for watching Netflix, surfing online, and using social media?

Planning Your Time

When you plan ahead and have a good idea what you need to do well in advance, you will probably feel more in control of your life and be less stressed.

  • Plan early.
  • Manage deadlines with accurate scheduling that takes into consideration the number of assignments due in the same week and the time each assignment will take to complete.
  • Include activities in your schedule such as sleep, grocery shopping, cooking, eating, and chores such as laundry.
  • Include goals and activities in your schedule such as work, family events, exercise, hobbies, and social outings.
  • Schedule time for fun and for keeping yourself mentally fresh.
  • Monitor how long tasks take to accomplish and adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • Leave gaps in your schedule to allow for flexibility.
  • Make your schedule realistic!
  • Build in brief breaks to reward yourself; for example, drink a cup of tea, eat a snack, stretch, play with your pet, etc.  

Prioritizing Your Time

Figuring out what you need to do first, and how soon you need to do it, is a big part of time management. Try some of these strategies to help you figure out the order of importance:

  • List all the college activities and assignments you need to get done this week.
  • Be very specific about the activities you list: it’s better to write “Read Bio 150 textbook, pages 79-108” than, “Read textbook.”
  • Estimate how long each activity will take and block off your calendar accordingly.
  • Place all your usual non-college activities for the week into this same calendar.
  • If there’s too much to do and not enough time (refer to your time estimates), you’ll have to prioritize!
  • Repeat these steps at the beginning of each week.
  • To help you determine priorities, check out the Important - Urgent Matrix in the Tools & Resources section. 

Using Time Effectively and Efficiently

It's challenging to balance school activities such as classes, studying, work, group work, and exams with other activities such as hobbies, exercise, relaxation, and family time. If you plan ahead and build in some of these strategies, you will probably have more time!

  • Focus on one task at a time without interruption for 25-minute blocks of time followed by a short break.
  • Do your least favorite task first, when you’re likely to be less tired.
  • Use the time of day when you are most alert for tasks that require concentration.
  • Get started! It's tempting to procrastinate, but you can avoid it by starting with a small task for a single 25-minute block of time.
  • Break up large tasks into smaller ones (see Assignment Calculator links in the Tools & Resources section below).
  • Return to the same study area to do your work. This creates a study habit.
  • Review notes shortly after classes.
  • Take notes during class even if there is a PowerPoint available on D2L, as this will help reinforce the material covered.
  • Do assigned readings before class; this will help you make sense of the lecture and class discussion regarding the subject matter.
  • Imagine your school work is your career.