Time Management Tips and Techniques

Creating  a schedule is one way to keep yourself organized, but using a planner alone does not ensure effective time management. 

Here are some other strategies you may try:

  • Designate specific places to study. Choose a particular spot in the library, an empty classroom, or a lounge in your residence hall.  If you prefer studying in your room, arrange a clean, well-lit workspace, free from distractions (your bed may not be conducive for reading, for example). The CTL offers quiet study areas most evenings in Briggs Hall for any student who wants a distraction-free environment to work on academic assignments.
  • Strike deals with yourself: “I am going to read 70 pages of history and then I can text my friends, watch TV, and go on the Internet.”
  • Share you goals with your friends and others who can keep you on track. Ask them to prompt you about your schedule, your progress on work, etc.
  • Learn to say "NO." In the extracurricular and social realms, you simply cannot take advantage of every opportunity for involvement or every fun activity. Don’t feel guilty for saying "no" if using the extra time will help you meet your goals.
  • Map out each day. Review your schedule and make a written (or mental) to-do list. You can determine how to configure your time while showering in the morning. Or jot down the next day’s tasks before you go to bed at night.

Weekly Scheduling

Have a place online, in a planner, or on your phone where you can map out and easily view your "average week." While assignments and commitments do vary from week to week, it is usually helpful to create a core schedule that can be altered or modified to meet your needs on a weekly basis. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you can simply adjust it!

Consider the following when filling in your schedule:

  • When are your fixed commitments, like classes, work, club meetings and athletic practices?
  • When and where do you typically eat meals?
  • How much sleep do you need? When do you usually go to bed each night?
  • When and where do you study best?
  • Is exercise a part of your routine?
  • When do you actually accomplish work and when do you usually “hang out”?
  • Do you have regular weekly assignments, like response papers or problem sets? When should you do them?

Remember that structuring your time is helpful, but you can’t plan every hour. Leave some room for flexibility and be honest with yourself about what you can reasonably accomplish.

Time Management Consultations

Students may schedule individual appointments with Cindy Utama, the CTL Learning Specialist (via phone at 920-832-7206 or email cindy.utama@lawrence.edu), to discuss effective time management, study skills and personal organization.
During these sessions, students have an opportunity to explore their commitments, talk about their interests and goals, and establish priorities.  After critically reviewing academic, extracurricular, and personal commitments, the student and the Learning Specialist develop a working weekly schedule and review strategies for planning and organizing assignments, projects, commitments and other tasks. 

The CTL also offers occasional workshops on topics such as test anxiety and stress, time management and additional academic success topics.

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