Time management can be one of the most difficult parts of university life. There’s lots of work every week, but it’s entirely up to you to enforce how and when you get it done. This responsibility can be very overwhelming, especially if you’re used to having work enforced by parents or teachers. It’s easy to take the newfound free time as an excuse to overlook your work, but this can catch up to you later on. Luckily, there are a number of methods that can be helpful for making this transition easier. So, here is how to improve your time management as a university student.

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Make A Plan

Oftentimes a workload feels the most overwhelming when you haven’t come up with a plan to tackle it. As a result, a great first step to approaching what you need to do is to come up with an approach that will work for you. That could mean dedicating a certain period of time to studying every day, committing to a certain number of words finished on an essay every day, or giving yourself a deadline.

round Timex analog clock at 2:33
Photo by Sonja Langford on Prioritize

Once you have your plan of attack, the next step is to figure out what you’re going to work on first. This might be whichever project has the earliest due date. Alternatively, you might choose a bigger project that isn’t due for a while to begin with, in order to prevent it from looming over you and give yourself plenty of time. Even if you choose the simplest, easiest task to begin with, it’s still much better than doing nothing.

Break Each Task Into Manageable Steps

For larger tasks, you won’t be able to do it all at once. As a result, these projects can easily become overwhelming, which makes starting them the most difficult part. However, breaking it down into a series of smaller tasks can make the process much easier. For example, if you have on your to-do list “write essay,” convert that to “choose essay prompt,” “locate source materials,” “find relevant quotes,” “complete outline,” etc.

Use Alarms

A helpful tool you can use for time management is to set alarms for yourself. This is particularly useful if you find yourself getting distracted while you study. Give yourself a certain time frame to work, whether that’s 20 minutes or an hour, set the alarm and then put your phone aside. For that period of time, you will only work and not. do anything else. Then, when the alarm goes off, you are free to take a break.

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