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Managing time effectively includes 4 essential skills:
Patience: Just like with any new habit, building new time management strategies takes time, patience and perseverance. Give yourself one or two weeks of trying a time management strategy, like using a task list or estimating your study time, before deciding whether the strategy works for you.
Analysis: Because there are so many time management strategies and tools, it's important to analyze what works for you, what doesn't, and why. Take a few minutes each day to evaluate how your time management strategies are working.
Flexibility: Unexpected things happen to everyone. Make sure you build some flexibility into your schedule, such as including at least an hour every day of open, unstructured time. Be flexible with your expectations for yourself; sometimes certain tasks or activities take much longer than planned. Strong time management skills include the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Information: The more knowledge you have about how to manage your time, the easier it will be for you to adapt to new challenges. Ask friends and colleague how they manage their time, read our Guides in this series (look in the column on the left-hand side), or book an appointment for individual assistance, tailored to your needs.
Top 10 Time Management Tips
Start using a calendar, planner, or task list at the start of the semester.
Write down important dates for exams, assignments and other projects on a calendar.
Make a weekly or monthly schedule to get the big picture.
Make a task list to keep track of things you need to do on a daily basis.
Although some people like to use lots of tools to manage their time, it's not always necessary. Decide on one or two that will help you the most.
Use short breaks in your daily schedule (such as an hour between classes) wisely. Check email or Courselink, review your class notes, or take a break by getting outside or exercising.
Break large tasks into smaller pieces that can be completed within a few hours (or even a few minutes).
Procrastination happens, but don't let it take over your life. Pay attention to what makes you procrastinate and try to avoid these triggers, especially during high stress times.
No one can - or wants to - study all the time! Plan your time to include doing things that you enjoy.
Be patient and flexible. If certain time management strategies don't work for you, try a different strategy.