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RYERSON UNIVERSITY LEARNING SUCCESS CENTRE Task/Time Management You can’t actually manage time—there are 24 hours

in a day, and there is nothing you can do about that. However, you can manage what you do with that time, so time management is actually self-management. The following strategies will help you stay in control of your study schedule and achieve your academic goals. Prepare a term calendar. • Get a large calendar that divides the term into months. • Write in important dates such as due dates for major projects/assignments/papers, quizzes, mid-terms and final exams. This term schedule gives you an overview of all the requirements for all your courses. • Post the schedule in your study area so that you can review it regularly. Plan and Prioritize Your Weekly Goals. Step 1: Look ahead. • Look ahead 2 or 3 weeks to see what assignments are coming up. • If you have a major project due in that time, divide it into subtasks and plan to include some of those subtasks in your schedule for the upcoming week. Step 2: Sort your activities for the week. • Make a long list of all the things you should, want to, or have to do in the upcoming week. Include everything. Here are examples: classes labs studying commuting paid employment meals sleeping family exercise clubs housework shopping appointments relaxing social life volunteer work • Go through the long list and prioritize your goals for the week. You could code your goals according to the following system: – A activities have top priority—must do – B items have medium priority—good but not essential – C items have low priority—can survive without them

If you consider your academic work a full-time commitment, you should be giving priority to your studies, so going to class, studying, and working on assignments will be on your A list. NOTE: If you are taking a full course load and are working more than 15 hours/week, you may find yourself overextended. Eventually, something will give. Either your studies will suffer or your job will suffer or you will suffer burn out. You have a choice—cut back on the number of hours you work or cut back on your course load. Be prepared to live with the consequences of your choice.

You may decide to drop one or more tasks or devote less time to some.. 2 hours Fun/socializing 5 hours TOTAL = 147 If you have tried to commit yourself to more hours of tasks than there is time in the week. For instance.e. working on major assignments and projects. you could stop. go through the short list again and make changes. travel. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take to complete each item. Remember that there are 168 hours in a week. social life. • Fill in fixed time commitments such as the times for classes and labs. take steps to deal with it and get to work. Step 3: Total your estimated times (short list). plan to complete it another time. make a short list of the A items and as many of the B items as you think you can manage. Estimated time Task Classes 15 hours Studying 30 hours Commuting 5 hours Job 10 hours Sleeping 55 hours Meals 15 hours Housework & shopping 10 hours Dentist appt. • Get or make a form for a weekly schedule that divides the days of the week into time slots. If possible. reviewing material on a regular basis. Preparing a written schedule isn’t enough in and of itself. . OR you could carry the first task over into the next time slot and postpone the second task to another time. Remember that your priorities are guidelines--you can change them at any time.• • From your long list. Then block in a reasonable amount of time for your more flexible commitments like meals. plan some “buffer slots. It’s your decision. Start the schedule with the time you normally get up and end with the time you normally go to bed. Be committed. Make a written weekly schedule. Don’t be so committed to completing tasks that you become a slave to your schedule. You have to be committed to completing the tasks. household responsibilities. and so on. If procrastination is a problem. a few times left free that you can use as back-up time slots in case you have to shift your schedule around • Determine your study tasks for the week. and preparing for quizzes/tests/exams.” i. and paid employment. Be flexible. reviewing notes after class. such as doing assigned readings. and get on to the next task. if you don’t finish a task in the allotted time. Slot study activities into specific times in your weekly schedule.

g. get other family members to help with housework. Remember that you are in charge. When you change priorities. If not. such as unanticipated car repairs or illness. If the emergency is more serious and sorting it out will take up a considerable amount of time. ask yourself. fix the problem so that you can organize your schedule for the upcoming week and feel confident that you can make the best use of all your time. Ask yourself. Deal with the emergency and then rearrange your study schedule to get yourself back on track. talk to your profs about extensions for deadlines. “Am I studying when I said I would? Did I meet all my goals?” If so.. e. Set aside time at the end of each week to reflect on how well your schedule worked. Monitor your weekly plan.You might also have to change priorities in order to deal with emergencies. and possible ways to reduce the seriousness of the consequences. If your study schedule wasn’t successful. . not someone else’s. particularly when you choose not to complete a task. Learn how to say no and delegate responsibilities if necessary. “Why didn’t I meet my goals?” • • • Did I set unrealistic goals? Did I waste time on trivial matters? Did I procrastinate and not do the tasks I said I would? Modify your plan as needed. organize your schedule for the upcoming week. consider • • • the negative consequences of your action the seriousness of those negative consequences. Remember also that you have to work according to your priorities. You decide what consequences you are willing to live with.