Time management tips

You have 24 hours every day and 168 hours every week. How are you going to make each and every hour count during your VanCoug Journey?

Be intentional

Getting the most out of each week takes discipline in a world filled with distractions. It’s easy to get distracted by procrastinating, binge watching your favorite show, playing video games, scrolling social media on your phone, etc. Before you begin making drastic changes in your life, analyze how you are currently spending your time each week. Be honest with yourself and record (in a calendar or notebook) what you’re doing with all 168 hours. After you track how you spend all 168 hours each week, analyze how you spend your time. Make any necessary changes to be more intentional with your time.

A few questions to think about when making changes to your week:

  • What do I need to add more of in my schedule?
  • What do I need to remove from my schedule or do less of?
  • What things do I need to keep doing?

Use a planner

To make each and every hour count during your VanCoug Journey, plan out how you are going to spend your time in advance. The best planner is the one you actually use and that works for you. A few of the more common planners that students use are: daily or weekly paper planners, monthly calendars, and electronic calendars. Some students find color coding to be an effective method to see at a glance what they need to complete for each class.

  • Daily or weekly planners: Write out scheduled classes, work, appointments, study time (completing assignments, writing papers, reading for class, etc.), free time, family time, etc. into your planner.
  • Monthly calendars: When you get your course syllabi, put important due dates and test dates on the calendar. Include the dates that you plan to start studying for the test or begin writing the paper.
  • Electronic calendars: Manage your time by creating calendar items for what you need to complete each day onto a smartphone, smartwatch, or computer.

Create a must-do list

How many times do you create a to do list and don’t accomplish what you write down? Must-do lists help you organize and execute around the priorities for the day and week. A must-do list creates a larger sense of urgency to accomplish what is on the list versus finishing an item off the long list of to-dos months from now. To make a must-do list, write down what you need to accomplish each day of the current week. If you have a large project or paper, break it down over multiple days or weeks.

Just start

The best way to start managing your time is to simply start. Every person manages their time differently. You may need to experiment with multiple methods and tools before you find the one that works best for you.