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Academic success tip: time management

Bryan Talbot / The Arbiter

Courtesy Jillana Finnegan, associate director of Advising and Academic Enhancement

It’s that time again—school’s beginning and you need to figure out how to balance classes, homework, hobbies and social time. Effective time management is essential to get all of your obligations met and have time for things that are just for fun. Here are some tips to help you manage everything on your plate:

– Make time to manage time: Time management does not just happen. Every day— or at least once a week— sit down and plan out your tasks, assignments and free time.

– Get a day planner: Use the day planner. Every day. The BroncoShop has inexpensive planners, or use the Google calendar linked to your BroncoMail.

– Put first things first: When making your schedule, write in your non-negotiable obligations (class, work, etc.) first. Next come your flexible commitments (homework, social time, etc.) and finally your negotiable items (errands, etc.) last. In the example to the right, the blue items were all filled in first, then the orange and finally, the rest were filled in to the spare time
in white.

– See your semester at a glance: Take the syllabus from each class and write down all assignment due dates and test days in your planner and on a large wall calendar that shows the whole year.

– Balance is important: Plan time for things that rejuvenate you, such as social time or important hobbies. Getting enough sleep is critical for a good memory and doing well on tests, so make a plan to get at least seven hours a night.

– Write everything down and prioritize: Once a week make a to-do list and write in your planner when you will complete the tasks on that list. Try to have five to eight items on your list and prioritize which need to be completed first.

– Set deadlines: Give yourself specific goals and tasks. Don’t just put “write paper” in your planner. Instead, be more specific: “write pg. 1 on Monday, pg. 2 on Wednesday, and edit/finish on Friday.”

Looking for more help with time management? We offer a study skill workshop that focuses on just that. Visit us at to sign up today.

1 Comment on Academic success tip: time management

  1. Awesome article.

    I think I'm addicted to to-do lists. In fact, I have like 15 different to-do lists on wanderlust as we speak. Love the part where you talk about giving yourself personal deadlines. Setting one or two important tasks I must complete before the day is over is a great way for me to start the day with a purpose in mind. It keeps me focussed and safe from the procrastination monster.

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