Time management

Managing your time is an essential skill for successful study.

Many people feel they never have enough time, realise they waste time, take on too much, then don’t get done what they’d like to. The result can be a continual feeling of anxiety and inadequacy, having made promises to others or yourself, then breaking most of them. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Are you simply doing too much? What are your priorities? Are you allocating time according to your priorities? Maybe some things should wait, or be dropped altogether.
  2. What are your goals? Are there specific and measurable? If you set clear and realistic goals, you’re more likely to achieve them, and not lose focus along the way.
  3. Do you have a weekly schedule? If so, is this realistic? Do you stick to it, or let it slide away quickly and helplessly? Take control of your time.
  4. If you’re wasting time, stop. If you need constant distraction, maybe you should focus better, do less, reduce interruptions and have planned breaks, not just be open to impulse.
  5. What are your habits? If you’re always on the go, perhaps you’re not doing things thoroughly, just zooming off to the next task. Then again, are you letting other people take up too much of your time, through email, texting, telephoning or many other ways?
  6. Enjoy waiting. If the train won’t arrive for 10 minutes, relax, rather than send five text messages. You can wait, and so can other people.
  7. Give yourself credit for your achievements, both small and large, and enjoy a feeling of steady progress.

Links and resources

Academic Skills have a great time management handout that will help you manage time and tasks. Similarly, they have a suite of time and task management resources, including some helpful short videos.

External websites

  1. UNSW: Support with time management
  2. University of Cambridge: Time Management Toolkit

If you'd like more support, come along to one of our workshops or make an appointment for individual counselling.

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