Effective time management is essential – you’re busy, and so you need good strategies to to be able to get important things done! The first step is to increase your awareness of how you’re actually spending your time. This way, you can get a sense of what activities you spend most of your time, and then you can evaluate if this makes sense according to your needs and priorities. Start by filling out the following Weekly Routine Worksheet (WRW) below.
Weekly Routine Worksheet (WRW)
|_____ Hours of sleep each night x 7 =|
|_____ Hours spent grooming per day (shower, getting ready, etc.) x 7 =|
|_____ Number of hours for food/meals/snacks per day x 7 =|
|_____ Total travel time on a weekday x 5 =|
|_____ Total travel time on a weekend x 2 =|
|_____ Total hours per week for weekly meetings, regular functions such as for church, clubs, meetings, etc.|
|_____ Total hours per week for errands, chores, other duties|
|_____ Total hours you work per week|
|_____ Total number of hours you are in class per week|
|_____ Total number of hours of fun time (socials, movies, television, chatting online, video games, dates, sports, etc.)|
|Subtract the above number from 168 – _______ = _______ hours|
|This number is the much time you have left for studying! Is it enough? If not, you probably need to drop something.|
Surveying your daily routine
How many hours do you have remaining for studying? If this number seems too low, then you’re overbooked! You need to drop some things. Also beware of typical time-sinks and time thieves:
Things that steal your time
- Instant messenger – do you need to set limits?
- Telephone calls
- Television and video clips
- Social networking websites like Facebook, MySpace, etc.
- Online computer games/video games
- Unexpected visitors
- Being disorganized
- Taking on more than you can handle
Other Time Management Tips
- Be sure your room is clean and organized. You don’t want to waste time looking for things you’ve misplaced!
- Buy a large calendar for your room or a personal organizer that you can carry around with you at all times. Write all important due dates, exams, and other events that you need to prepare for.
- Start managing your time at the beginning of the semester.
- Set measurable goals for yourself (e.g. grades you would like to receive). Determine how much time it will take to accomplish these goals.
- Divide tasks into smaller, more manageable jobs (Example: First week – Outline of paper done, Second week – Research the topic, Third week – Finish a rough draft, Fourth week – Complete the final draft)
- Make a weekly schedule for classes, lectures, labs, seminars, regular meetings, study time, etc.
- Create “To do” lists and/or checklists when you have a lot to do in a day. In addition to the easy tasks, prioritize the important tasks and make sure you have progress with them.
- Ask a buddy to keep you in check with your time management.