The Catholic University of America

Time Management:

Time Management is one of the best ways to avoid stress. By planning out your time effectively, you can avoid last minute rushes to do work you've fallen behind on. Also, if you plan your time wisely, the quality of your work will be much better than if you leave it until the last minute.

The best way to approach time management is to plan out your whole day. Think of it this way:

  • There are 24 hours in a day
  • On an average day, you might devote 8 hours to sleeping, 3 hours to eating, and 4 hours to classes/labs
  • This leaves you with around 9 hours to work with each day.

Figure out the best way to utilize those 9 hours:

  • Try making a schedule; start by filling in your classes, meals, sleep, workouts, etc. Then start filling in the rest.
  • Figure out when you do your best work. If you do your best work in the daylight hours, do your most difficult work then and save the easier work for later.
  • Be sure to schedule breaks for yourself; most people can't stay focused on work for hours at a time.
  • If you find yourself getting distracted on one assignment, move on to something else that will keep your attention.
  • Re-adjust your schedule if you're falling behind in a subject or have overestimated how much time another course needs.
  • Reward yourself after each task. Take a break, talk with friends, have a snack, or watch a show. Just make sure you don't extend your break to interfere with other work you have to do.

Don't fall behind!

  • Avoid procrastination; when you have a project or paper, don't wait until the week that it is due to start working on it.
  • When a big project is assigned, start early by making a plan or an outline, and pull together resources and notes that will help while you work on it.
  • When faced with a seemingly insurmountable amount of work, break each assignment down into smaller parts to make it more manageable.
  • With papers, work on getting a rough draft out before trying to perfect every sentence. Leave the revising for after you finish writing the whole draft.