Skip to main content

Time Management

Top Tips

Online tutorial for Time Management

If you cannot view the online tutorial below, go to the following web page

Improve your Time Management skills

Time spent planning your learning can greatly benefit your studies as:

  • You are more likely to avoid last minute rushes and be less stressed
  • You will be more likely to carry out each task more efficiently and effectively, producing higher quality pieces of work
  • Plus you will have more time to participate in a wider number of activities.

Key stages in managing your time include:

  • Planning ahead - be organised and aware of both work and  social commitments
  • Prioritisation  - discover what needs to be done by when
  • Action planning - how you will complete tasks and stay motivated?
  • Evaluating your progress on a regular basis - how are you getting on and are you are on schedule?

One of the biggest barriers to managing your time is motivating yourself to "get up and go". Writing your next assignment might not be a great motivator, but if you see it as the next step in your overall career plan you might be more encouraged to carry on.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Are you really doing what you want to be doing? 
  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?
  • What do you want to be doing in ten years time?
  • If you could only achieve one thing in your life, what would you like it to be? 

While at university you will probably have competing commitments, for example

  • preparation for seminars
  • assignments with similar deadlines
  • exams
  • paid work
  • and fun with friends and family

Use the following document to help you prioritise what's important and what can be dropped from your life at the moment:

You will have quite a few commitments throughout the year. You will need to organise when you will undertake particular tasks.

    The following can help you with this:
  • diaries
  • planners
  • task sheets        

You will need to plan large tasks such as assignments:

  • Analyse the problem so that you understand what is required
  • Break the assignments into smaller chunks to make it more manageable, e.g. search for information, write draft, revise draft etc.
  • Decide how much time you need for each smaller task and when you will do them.
  • Be realistic. Tasks always take longer than you think, so over estimate 

Once you have started a task:

  • evaluate your progress on a regular basis
  • make sure you are on schedule
  • if you are falling behind, consider why
  • plan how you can get back on track
  • don't be tempted to cut corners or rush a task.
  • if you think you won't get your task finished on time your options are:
    • set more time aside (i.e re-prioritise)
    • reduce the scope
    • re-negotiate (is it possible to phase delivery?)

Activity: How do you spend your time?

How much time do you spend on social and study activities? Be honest!

Do you have a good work life balance?

Please complete the time sheet below, estimating the average time in hours you spent on each task last week.

Personal activities Time spent
Sleep
 

Cooking / eating

 

Meeting friends

 

Exercise / sports activities

 

Leisure activities, e.g. watching sport, hobbies etc.

 

Paid work

 

Total time spent not studying

 
 

Study activities

 

Lectures / tutorials / seminars

 

Preparatory work, e.g. advance reading

 

Follow-up work, e.g. reviewing notes, re-writing notes etc.

 

Preparing assessments, revision etc.

 

Total time spent on studying

 

Further Reading

Click on the image to see additional useful resources

iPad icon to show Electronic reading list

Next steps

If you thought this information was useful you may want to look at some of the other Learning Hub guides aimed at helping students with

Two forward facing arrows which crossover Time management by MindTools

Feedback

If you have any comments about this skills guide, we would love to know them. 

Click on the this feedback image to give thoughts and feedback on the Structuring your assignment page

Using material on this page