The habits you establish in college can last a lifetime. This includes learning how to balance activities and responsibilities through effective time management. Now is a great time to develop these skills by:
- Figuring out what strategies help you cope and perform your best,
- Learning how to tweak your routines, and
- Letting go of some of the behaviors that are not working well for you.
Did you know?
- 79% of UF students reported that effectively managing their time was “very important” to their academic success.
- 93.8% of UF students reported at some point feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do.
- 53.5% of UF students are somewhat satisfied and 13% are very satisfied with
GatorWell’s Time Management Program Offers UF Students:
- Education and resources to empower UF students to make healthy decisions about time management.
- Individual Wellness Coaching Appointments that can include goal setting and action planning around time management.
- Outreach including presentations and outreach tabling related to time management.
The struggle is real…
Do you find yourself sometimes struggling with time management? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Managing time is something that many UF students struggle with. It may feel like there are countless opportunities and experiences that are competing for your attention during your time here. Learning to utilize time management strategies that work for you can help you be successful while at UF and in your future endeavors.
In a GatorWell survey, UF students reported their Top 5 Time Management Barriers to be:
- Procrastination (70.4%)
- Inability to Concentrate (57.5%)
- Fatigue/Sleep Deprivation (53.8%)
- Having one or more difficult class (41.1%)
- Having too many assignments (40.3%)
What are your personal barriers?
Try one of these self-assessments to help you identify potential barriers to effective time management:
- Complete a time log. 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 and which are time wasters.
- Take this assessment to help you identify how you currently spend your time. Completing this type of assessment can help you begin to identify some of your personal barriers to effectively managing your time.
Regardless of what barrier(s) you may be trying to overcome, some or all of the strategies on the “Take Action” drop down below can help you improve your time management skills.
Good luck with managing your time! If you would like help getting started with any of thestrategies listed below, you can make an appointment for Wellness Coaching for Academic Success.
Strategies for Time Management
Know What’s Important!
- Write down your goals.
- Then use your goals to help you prioritize tasks! The following tools can also help you prioritize your tasks:
- Time Management Matrix– Sometimes it is hard to figure out which task to do first. The time management matrix, popularized by Stephen Covey, helps you to organize your tasks into four categories that help you decide which tasks should be prioritized first.
- POSEC method -The acronym POSEC stands for Prioritizing by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing. This method allows you to evaluate how you prioritize your time.
- Manage your time according to your priorities.
- Be realistic, not perfectionistic with your time management.
- If procrastination is a particular challenge for you, check out these tips to overcome procrastination.
Make Time to Manage Time!
- Get organized- collect syllabi, exam dates, group project deadlines, work schedule, activities schedule, etc.
- Make a master “To Do” list.
- Organize the tasks on your “To Do” list in a planner, calendar (paper, online, or phone), or phone app. If you have a calendar function on your phone, you can use it to input the events and set reminders.
- Remember to check your planner or calendar regularly. It’s easy to let that slip after a while.
- Try using a weekly schedule to help you get started.
Minimize interruptions and distractions during the times you have set aside for organizing and studying. This may mean:
- studying in a different environment
- turning off the TV and/or computer
- putting your phone on silent
- setting aside specific times of the day that you will not answer the phone or hang-out with friends
The more focused you can be, the more productive your study time is!!
Just Say “No.”
- First take responsibility- understand what the commitments are that you have agreed to.
- Set boundaries and stick to them!
- Evaluate what may be making you feel overwhelmed and see what activities you can start saying “no” to.
- In the future, before you say yes to something new, ask yourself it if realistically fits in with your priorities and time. If you do take on something new, think about cutting something else out of your schedule.
- If taking on too many responsibilities has also negatively impacted your sleep, check out our sleep page for more tips.
- Living a balanced life is important to your overall wellbeing. Schedule time to take care of yourself and manage your stress. Self-care is important and if you don’t make it a priority, no one else will.
- Schedule in daily relaxation time and activities that you enjoy doing such as volunteering, hiking, dancing, going to sporting events, or spending time with friends.
- When you are planning your study schedule, make sure that you allow time for breaks to help you mentally and physically recharge. Take 5-15 minute breaks after every 45 minutes that you study.
- GatorWell’s Wellness Coaching for Academic Success: GatorWell’s free wellness coaching program helps UF students create individualized time management plans to meet their needs.
- GatorWell Time Management Outreach including presentations and outreach tabling related to time management.
- Counseling and Wellness Center: The CWC offers a state of the art biofeedback lab for UF students. Counseling and consultation services are also available for currently enrolled students and spouses/partners.
- 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.
Online Resources and Interactive Tools:
- Mind Tools
- Study Guides and Strategies: Activities to assess your priorities and goals.
- Time Management Tools and Information: Dartmouth University’s Time Management website provides tips for managing your time well so you can get the most out of your university experience-links for handouts, videos, and learning links.
Free Time Management Apps for iPhone and Android: