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Time Management Strategies and Skills

Feeling overwhelmed? Do you often wish there were more hours in the day? We all feel like we could use a little more time, but if you are causing yourself undue stress, you could benefit from better time management strategies.

Time Management is the process of organizing the activities of your life.  It requires a high level of self-discipline and is crucial for academic success.  Developing effective time management skills can make all the difference in your overall well-being. 

Characteristics of Students with Poor Time Management Skills:

  • If a student tends to miss assignments, tests, classes and usually feel stressed and rushed:
  • They may gain the reputation of being forgetful and unreliable.
  • They exhibit a lack of preparedness for exams, which is often confused with test anxiety.
  • They feel constant stress from time-crunches, which can cause illness and irritability. 

The first step is to identify how you are using your time:  How much time is devoted to friends, family, work, etc.? Do any of these conflict heavily with your school work/study time and, if so, to what extent? 

Try this time management exercise: 

Organizing and prioritizing your time is crucial to your academic success. 

Here are some helpful hints for better time management: 

Set aside blocks of study time

Keep track of how long it takes you before you get restless.  It’s ok to take short breaks.

Schedule weekly reviews and updates

Studying in groups with fellow classmates is a great way to learn and retain information

Prioritize assignments

When studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task.

Tips:  A large wall or desk calendar or planner can help you prioritize your activities as well as your assignments.  Make sure to mark and highlight all deadlines.  It may also be helpful to set reminders on your cell phone.

Develop alternative study places free from distractions

If home is distracting - stay on campus!

Use your time wisely

Think of times when you can study in small intervals when walking, riding the bus, breaks at work, etc.  If you audio record lectures, transfer it to your iPod!

Review notes and readings just before class

It will help you prepare for and participate in class discussions.

Review lecture material immediately after class

(Forgetting is greatest within 24 hours without review)

Tip: If you write down your notes, transfer the notes to your computer.  It will help you review and memorize the material.

Schedule time for critical course events

Papers, presentations, tests, etc.

Make a “To Do” list

Lists are another great way to help you clear your thoughts, identify what’s most important, and prioritize your time.  To make your own list go to:

Use a planner

Planners that include both weekly and daily charts and calendars are optimal for remembering appointments, assignments, meetings, etc.  Student who are more high-tech may opt for a Blackberry, iPhone, or Palm Pilot.  The key is to find a method that works best for you. Tip: Create or obtain a master calendar that shows all the weeks of the semester on one page so you can see all of you important activities, assignment due dates, and exams.  Therefore, you can get an idea of which weeks are your busiest and plan accordingly. 

*Don’t forget to plan time for yourself!*


Study Guides and Strategies -

Appalachian State University Learning Assistance Program -

Power Learning: Strategies for Success in College and Life -

The Basics of Time Management -

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Salisbury University 1101 Camden Avenue Salisbury, MD 21801 410-543-6000

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