Start Making the Most of Your Time

The beginning of October often brings a wave of mid-terms for many students. If you have been coasting since September, you might now be feeling like it’s time to buckle-down and focus on your school work. A good time management strategy can help you to get a handle on things and feel more confident during test time.

Time management is a matter of balancing the wants and the needs in your life. Sometimes this can be a difficult task because it involves planning, compromise and self-discipline. Nonetheless, the academic and personal benefits are worth it.

The first time management task is often to assess where you are spending your time. Carefully monitor your activities for a few days and then analyze where your time is going. Are you playing videos games until the early morning hours? Are you spending too much time on Facebook? How long is your lunch break everyday? Based on what you find, make adjustments in order to free up more time for the most important things in your life. Remember, if you sleep 7 hours each night, you still have 119 waking hours to get your tasks done every week.

Here are 15 tips for making the most of those hours:

Make daily and weekly to-do lists. Prioritize your tasks. Be reasonable with your expectations.
Get motivated by setting specific, realistic and measurable goals for your studies.
Look at the big picture. Plan your entire semester by recording assignments and tests on a large calendar.
Make a weekly schedule detailing when and what you will study each day. If possible, treat school as a 9-5 job each day. Use the time around your classes to study.
Don’t forget to schedule in your exercise, sleep, appointments, errands and some FUN each week.
Check that your study environment is conducive to learning. Don’t study in front of the TV or in bed.
Identify your most alert time of the day and schedule study time for your most difficult subject then.
Avoid marathon studying. Study in 40-50 minute intervals and take 10 minute breaks in between. This way, the time you devote to studying will be much more productive.
Turn off the phone and your computer while studying. You can always return phone messages, texts and emails at another more convenient time.
Record the television shows you like each week. That way, you can not only watch commercial free and shorten your TV time, but you can also take more control of your evening schedule.
Make good use of waiting time and spare moments. If you take the bus to school each day, for instance, study your terminology cue-cards as you travel. This time adds up!
Set the alarm on your phone when you go for lunch or for a study break. When it goes off, it will remind you to get back to work.
Learn to say “no” to activities that you don’t need or want to do.
Reward yourself with fun activities or small treats, when you get big tasks done.
Avoid interruptions or distractions. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door, or buy earplugs, if necessary.
These are just a few suggestions for using your time more wisely. if you are interested in learning more detailed strategies for time management or about study skills in general, please call counselling services at 403-317-2845 or drop by TH218 to make an appointment with a counsellor.