The term 'time management' is a misnomer. You cannot actually manage time as such - you cannot stop time or go back in time. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can't change that. However, you can manage the events in your life in relation to time; you can control how you choose to use the time through self-management, learning to manage yourself!
Learning how to manage your time can help you:
There are numerous strategies available to help you effectively manage the time that you have. Just remember to find the techniques that work for you!
Where does your time go? What do you do with your time? Knowing how you spend your time can help you understand how you work and how best to manage your time.
Keep a record of all that you do during the day, including the time that it took to get things done. Do this for a week or two, then reassess it and ask yourself the following questions:
By reassessing what you did, you will be able to identify your most time consuming tasks and determine whether you are investing your time in the most important tasks. This can help you decide on how best to move forward.
Using the matrix template provided below, fill in the four quadrants with all the tasks that you have coming up over the next two weeks.
Learning how to organise yourself is another important part of managing your time and keeping on top of your studies. Carefully organise your study time so you can minimise confusion and maximise your efficiency.
Here are some useful techniques to help you get organised:
Note: Remember to reassess this at the end of each day or week to monitor your progres and make the necessary adjustments.
For more information on staying organised during your University studies check out the Curtin university website.
Watch the video below for some useful tips on how to better organise your time.
Learning to schedule your time can help you put a plan into action. One you have prioritised your tasks and organised yourself, start scheduling study into your timetable so you know how much time you have to study each week. This will give you an opportunity to capitalise on your study time. When you create a schedule, be sure to record down what your tasks or commitments are but also assign specific dates and times for these tasks.
Some tips for planning your schedule:
There are many planning tools available to help you organise your time (e.g. diaries electronic planners, calendars). These tools give you the ability to manage your workload, assign tasks, track your progress and more. When selecting a tool, it is best to follow your natural preference. If you prefer writing things down, then use a paper planner or calendar. If you prefer using electronic devices, then find one that suits you.
Tips for using planning tools:
Motivating yourself to study is a big factor in ensuring your success at University. We sometimes feel more motivated than other times in our life. So understanding what motivates you is important. Spending some time reflecting on this and applying some common motivational tips can be very helpful.
Research has shown that multitasking can actually reduce productivity and negatively impact on your learning. It may appear that you are undertaking multiple tasks at once but in-fact you are simply shifting your attention from one task to another. This switching between tasks can be draining mentally and you may not be able to fully engage with what your are doing. It is best to avoid multitasking during your study sessions so try to eliminate distratcions.
Communicating your needs is another important part of managing your time. When studying or pressed for time be sure to let others know how you are feeling and let them know that you do not wish to be distracted. For example, you could put your headphones on, close the door, turn off the phone and email notifications. You may also want to consider delegating tasks where possible, for example asking someone to pick up the kids from school, do the cooking or washing.