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Master Time Management

Planners, Calendars, and Assignment Calculators

These Fall 2020 monthly calendars can be printed on your home computer. Please verify all dates on the University of Guelph's Academic Calendars.

Time Management in an Online Environment

For strategies for maintaining motivation and sticking to a schedule in an online environment, see our guide Online Learning during COVID-19.

What is the secret to mastering time management?

Managing time effectively is a skill that takes time to master. The hard part isn't making a list or a schedule ‐ it's sticking to it. That takes patience, tenacity, and an openness and willingness to change.

If your first efforts at planning don't work, don't give up. Start at the beginning of the semester so you can get the bugs ironed out of your time plan before the workload gets heavy. Some frustration is to be expected. But, If you can hang on through the first few weeks, later in the semester you'll reap the benefits when you need them the most.

If you can master time management in the stressful, unstructured environment of a university, you can be confident of your ability to manage time in almost any situation after graduation.

Browse the Guides in this series (look in the column on the left-hand side) for advice on how to plan efficiently and use time effectively.

You can also book an appointment for individual assistance, tailored to your needs.

Top 10 Time Management Tips

  1. Start using a calendar, planner, or task list at the start of the semester.
  2. Write down important dates for exams, assignments and other projects on a calendar.
  3. Make a weekly or monthly schedule to get the big picture. 
  4. Make a task list to keep track of things you need to do on a daily basis.
  5. 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.
  6. Use short breaks in your daily schedule (such as an hour between classes) wisely. Schedule appointments on campus, check email or Courselink, or review your class notes.
  7. Break large tasks into smaller pieces that can be completed within a few hours (or even a few minutes).
  8. 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.
  9. No one can - or wants to - study all the time! Plan your time to include doing things that you enjoy.
  10. Be patient and flexible. If certain time management strategies don't work for you, try a different strategy.

Resources to Help Manage Stress

Guide: Making the most of breaks and rewardsGuide: 7 strategies to manage distractionsGuide: 7 steps to better Concentration

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