University of Florida | GatorWell Health Promotion Services - Health Topic

Time Management


Not enough hours in the day? Make the most of them....

Many college students have very busy schedules and the pressure of being academically successful can be great, so being able to manage your time is essential!  In fact, according to a GatorWell survey, 79% of UF students reported that effectively managing their time was “very important” to their academic success.  Indeed, learning how to manage your time helps increase productivity and reduces procrastination, both of which can improve academic success.  So how do you turn this knowledge into action?

Assess how you are currently using your time.  

For 2-3 days, keep a time log of what you do during the day and how long you spend doing it.  Afterwards, look for trends, strengths, and areas for improvement.  Identify which activities are priorities (see #2) and which are time wasters.

Check out this article for a template and 'how to' tips: Improve Your Time Management with a Time Log

Know what’s important! 

Set long-term goals.  This can help you prioritize your tasks.  Then, organize your time according to your priorities.  Higher priority tasks should come first.  Also, try scheduling extra time AND setting short-term goals for these important tasks.  Research shows that short-term goals help with focus and motivation and reducing procrastination.

Make time to manage time.

Set aside consistent time in your schedule to organize how you will use your time.  For example, preplan by organizing your schedule for the week each Sunday.  There are a wide variety of tools that can be used to help with this including planners, calendars, apps (see examples below), or “to do” lists.  Pick whatever tools work for you and your organization style and then make sure to use them consistently!

Minimize distractions.  

Identify what your common distractors and time wasters are.  Then, come up with a plan to minimize these where possible.  This may mean studying in a different environment, turning off the TV, computer or wi-fi, or putting your phone away and/or on silent.

Break things up!  

Have a large task that feels very overwhelming?  Maybe it’s a 20 page paper, studying for your Chemistry mid-term, or applying for an internship.  Break it up into smaller steps before you begin.  Assign yourself mini-deadlines for completing the smaller steps and then tackle them one at a time.

Enlist social support.

Share your goals for the semester with friends and family and ask for their support and encouragement.  Find a study buddy, schedule times to study together, and then hold each other accountable.

  • GatorWell’s Time Management Resources
  • GatorWell’s Wellness Coaching for Academic Success
  • Time Management Video
  • UF Academic Advising:  UF Academic Advising empowers and informs students so they may explore options; encourages students to make well-intentioned and strategic decisions; and maximizes personal outcomes and successes in the student's undergraduate experience.
  • UF Teaching Center:  The mission of the Teaching Center at the University of Florida is to empower students to become successful lifelong learners. Through a variety of services and instructional approaches, the Teaching Center seeks to help students master effective ways of learning for different disciplines. 
  • University Writing Program: The University Writing Program is committed to helping University of Florida students and faculty meet their academic and professional goals by becoming better writers. We support independent learning and encourage scholarship by providing one-on-one consultations, workshops tailored to specific classes (graduate and undergraduate), and faculty retreats focusing on publishing original research. Students and faculty at all levels and in every discipline are welcome!
  • UF Libraries: UF’s libraries consist of seven libraries and provide computers, study spaces, and online resources for all UF students. Student, faculty and researcher spaces include open areas, restricted-study graduate student areas, group study rooms and individual graduate student and faculty study carrels. 

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