Time management is an important life skill. It helps us stress less and achieve goals.
Learning to manage time at uni is crucial when faced with multiple, often competing academic and personal commitments.
Strategies often suggested
- Plan your day and prioritize activities. Establish a timetable that works for you and stick to it.
- Avoid procrastination. Know your peak study times. Learn to deal with interruptions.
- Allow time for social and self-care activities as well as work commitments.
Below you will find three common blocks (barriers and misconceptions) that disrupt our efforts in time management.
Sometimes we commit to too many things. This becomes problematic when we realise that we do not have enough time to do all the things we want, leaving us feeling disappointed.
Too many disruptions
When it is too difficult to stay focused. In a world of instant messaging and exposure to excessive amounts of information, we can get distracted and lose focus. We procrastinate, time gets away from us, and we suddenly lose sight of deadlines and goals.
Prioritising study over other needs
When we prioritise study without considering other personal needs we risk becoming stressed or dissatisfied, particularly if we are not getting the grades we want.
Below are three things you can do to boost success.
Start with a time management plan at the beginning of each semester
Ask “Is my plan realistic and achievable, what challenges will I face?” Know key university dates and when your assignments are due. Plan how to adjust daily routines when dealing with high-pressure periods. Talk to others such as seeking advice from course coordinators and peer academic support programs.
Reduce mobile phone notifications, limit social media or gaming periods. When you notice yourself getting distracted, stop what you are doing and try to remain still for two minutes. Try to breathe slowly and relax any tension in your body or try a brief mindful breathing video. For more details on using the breath review our breath page. Slowly turn your attention back to what you were doing prior to getting distracted.
Includes periods of self-reflection and self-care
You may be able to maintain focus for long period of time, but how productive do you feel? Stopping study to go for a walk in nature, to exercise or to talk to a friend are all powerful ways of recharging yourself. Additionally, making sure that you eat healthy meals and have approximately 7 hours of quality sleep will further improve your ability to perform daily tasks. Consider reviewing the information on finding balance.