THREE KEY STEPS TO TIME MANAGEMENT
• Develop a Weekly Schedule
– to provide an overview of free and committed time
• Write a Daily To-Do List
– to provide daily reminders to assure key tasks are not forgotten
• Prepare a Long-Term Plan
– to promote overall organization and future planning
• Use a weekly schedule template, a student agenda, or a computer program to:
– Organize your regular activities
– Determine your available free time
– Look at hours spent on extra-curricular activities
– See how much time you study
– Know how and where you tend to waste time
• Fill in the weekly schedule in this sequence:
– Personal Maintenance (i.e. eating, sleeping, getting ready, travel)
– Your classes
– Your work commitments
– Other Commitments (volunteer, extra-curricular etc.)
THEN fill in other OPTIONAL commitments
WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?
• Approx. 110 hours of time is consumed by personal maintenance and class time
• Work and other commitments may take up to another 14+ hours
• That leaves approximately 44 hours remaining - this is YOUR time to spend how you see fit!
• If you can’t figure out where that 44 hours goes every week, keep track of how you spend your time for the next 7 days – you’ll be amazed at how it gets used!
• No one expects that a student will use every minute of their free time to do work – but it seems reasonable that at least half of it will be devoted to academics (and even more at very busy times)
• It’s helpful to create a list with the following headings as a way to organize your time:
Wednesday, February 26
Task Time Req. Importance Other Notes
Math homework 1 hour Important
Debating 2 hours Very important Drama Room
Science Quiz ½ hour Very important Cell structures
Geography mapping ½ hour Important Extra help from
English Task 2 hours Very important Mrs. Belford
• It’s even more effective to actually create a daily schedule and block out the time when events will happen
• It’s important to tick things off on your daily to-do list as you complete them – gives you a sense of accomplishment
• Try to put down a little more on your list than you think you can realistically accomplish
• Breaking down large projects into smaller tasks that you can accomplish in small chunks of time is one of the most effective TM strategies
• Use a monthly calendar
• Important to be able to look ahead by at least 4 weeks
• As soon as you are informed of deadlines for assignments, test dates etc. put them on the calendar so you can ensure that you’re able to do some long-range planning
• A very important step in preventing last minute cramming or rushed assignments
• While procrastinating may give immediate gratification because it delays working on an important (but sometimes undesirable) task, it also brings:
– Reduced sleep
– Lower grades
– Poorer quality of work
– Less learning as a result of being rushed
– A personal sense of disappointment
• In the end, it hurts you more than it helps you!
THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING PRIORITIES
• At any one time, you may have 10 tasks that ideally you should be working on – it will be impossible to do them all!
• Setting priorities means making a value judgment on each task you need to complete based on it’s worth and when it must be completed
• In short: the tasks that are worth the most and due the soonest should be your #1 priority!
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I BE SPENDING?
• If you don’t know how much time a particular task should be taking up, here are some helpful suggestions:
– Ask your teacher for some guidance
– Speak to other successful students in the class
– Break the task down into various stages and consider an appropriate amount of time for each step
– Consider the value of and deadline for the task and weigh it against other priorities
WHAT IF I GET OFF SCHEDULE?
• It’s important to prepare for the unexpected – things will always come up that you didn’t plan for…even after great planning!
• When your plan is thrown into chaos:
– List each necessary activity you need to complete
– Define time limits for each activity
– Set priorities within the list
– Tackle assignments in that order
WHAT IF I JUST HAVE TOO MUCH GOING ON?
• If you find that you have very few hours left in your day, week or month to relax, spend time with friends or family, or pursue your own interests, it’s time to re-evaluate your commitments!
• If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t fulfill any of the commitments in your life to your level of satisfaction
• Again, be sure to prioritize and don’t feel guilty if you need to drop an activity or two – your health and well-being is always your #1 priority!
• Time management is a skill that EVERYONE must work on in all areas of their life (personal, academic, work)
• Successful time management requires self-evaluation and the desire to improve
• Effective time management will require you to do things you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do them – you have to push yourself!
• The pay-off of good time management is ALWAYS worth the effort
NEED MORE HELP?
• Talk to your teachers about their suggestions in how to manage the workload in the class
• Let your parents, friends, coaches etc. know how you are feeling – their support is important
• Book an appointment with your counsellor in Student Services to actually practice some of the time management techniques
• If your mental or physical health is impeding your ability to manage your time effectively, see your family doctor