5 Time Management Tips that Work

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Posted 14 Aug 2007 in Back to School

The school year is gearing up, and it is better to get in the routine of good study habits earlier, rather than later.

Below, you’ll find 5 time management tips that work.

These are tested by me, a professional student and approved by my mom, a professional mom and retired teacher. 😉

1. Start managing your time at the BEGINNING of the semester, not the end. You want to get in the habit of managing your time wisely early, so you will be less stressed at the end of the semester. Be flexible, though. Don’t feel that you have to stick to schedule or habits that aren’t working for you. Change things around and try to find a pattern or schedule that works best for you.

2. At the beginning of the semester, create a master calendar. Use paper and pencil, a daily planner or Google Calendar to plot out your reoccurring meetings, events, due dates for assignments, exams, exercise schedule, dinner with friends, classes and study time, etc.. If you have a better idea of where your time is going, you can be more conscientious about using it wisely.

3. Set realistic goals about what you want to accomplish for the semester. I like to think about my papers, projects, presentations, etc. as early as possible and start jotting down ideas. This helps me stay focused in class because I have a set goal – “pass the class with an A”, “earn a B on midterm exam”, etc. If you haven’t been incredibly organized before now, don’t jump into organization head first. You’ll become too overwhelmed and end up quitting. Start slow and easy – and you’ll make it!

4. Start writing your papers or working on projects BEFORE they are due. If you work on a paper or project weeks before it is due, you will actually spend LESS time working on it and feel less stressed when the due date approaches. I always start a major paper or project 6 weeks before it is due. For example:

  • Week 1: Write Outline
  • Week 2: Research
  • Week 3: Tweak Outline & Research
  • Week 4: Rough Draft
  • Week 5: Edit Rough Draft
  • Week 6: Final Revisions, print and turn in

If you have less time to work on your paper or assignment, you can eliminate Week 2 and Week 5.

5. Create a daily “Things to Do” list. I use Remember the Milk (RTM) to remind me of what I need to do on a daily basis. It is integrated into my Google Calendar and I have RTM set to send me text messages to my phone. Whatever tasks I don’t complete today will get passed on to tomorrow. I can also print the list and carry it with me.

Coming tomorrow: Find out your learning style


The 2007 Back to School series is designed to help students be more successful! New articles will be posted daily for two weeks, beginning August 13, 2007. Subscribe to the Back to School feed to get new installments in your feed reader.

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2 Comments

  1. Here is where I always screw up. I start off managing my time so well, keeping up with everything, but as the semester goes on, my motivation fades. Anyhow, this is a really cool series; extremely in depth!

    • Time management can be kind of difficult – but after you stick to it for 30 days, it becomes a habit! Keep up the good work and I know that you’ll become a time management success! (Thanks for the compliment – I love yours, too!)


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