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.  Identify which activities are important (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! 

Prioritize your tasks.  Then, organize your time according to your priorities.  Higher priority tasks should come first.  Also, try scheduling extra time for these important tasks.

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, or “to do” lists.  Pick whatever works for you and your organization style.

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.

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.

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.

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