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Time Management

This section provides information about getting (and staying) organized, and managing your time to be more productive.

How can I organize my time and be more productive?

Creating an organization system that works for you is key in managing your time well. Here are some tips:

  • At the beginning of each semester, add all important dates, assignments and exams to your calendar.
  • Before the beginning of a new week, take some time to go over what you have due and make a plan/to-do list to accomplish your tasks. For instance, if you have a paper due on Friday, what can you plan to do each day so that your paper is completed by the deadline?
  • Be specific when you plan. Instead of writing down “study for Biology”, write down “review chapter 12 textbook and quiz questions for Biology exam”. 
  • Plan to work on more than one subject a day to avoid burnout.
  • For your most difficult courses, plan to review and study information at least 3-4 times a week.
  • Make sure to schedule time to do your class readings to better understand the material.
  • For exams, plan to start studying two weeks in advance, and add chapters you want to cover each day to your calendar. Here’s an example. 
How can I stop procrastinating?

There are a few reasons for procrastinating. Check to see if you identify with the reasons below and review the suggested strategies.

Reason 1: The task is overwhelming

Practice breaking up large tasks into smaller, specific tasks. When planning for a big research paper, for example, avoid writing down “work on paper”. Instead, think about creating a list of steps to complete your paper (for example, review 3 articles, write thesis statement, write introduction…). 

Reason 2: I seem to always run out of time

This typically happens because of poor time management. The first step is to create a system for staying organized (planner or virtual calendar). Our academic success team members can help you organize your activities into a system that works for you!

Reason 3: I have a hard time getting started

Try the Pomodoro technique! Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make a list of things to get done today and choose a task to work on first
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes
  3. Work on the task for the set time with no distractions (no peeking at your phone either!)
  4. When the timer goes off, take a 5 minute break.
  5. Repeat this 4 times for 2 hours of focused time! Take a longer 15-30 minute break after.

The Academic Success Center

Wilson Hall, Suite 1100
371 Wilson Blvd
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4215