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Time management in an online environment
Essential skills to mastering time management
Managing time effectively includes 6 essential skills:
To use time effectively, self-awareness is key. When during the day are you usually productive, and when do you tend to lose concentration? What helps motivate you as a student? Do you work better in small blocks of time, or do you prefer to immerse yourself in one topic at a time? Your answers to these questions will help you identify and implement strategies that are most likely to work for you.
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.
Learning a new skill takes practice, and that includes new skills in how to manage your time or reduce procrastination. If you feel frustrated when trying out a new strategy, remember that you may need to practice it a few times before it becomes comfortable.
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.
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.
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 colleagues 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.
Find out more about managing your time and controlling procrastination in the guides listed on the left-hand side of this page.