Survival Tips – Time Management

Posted by Megan on March 17, 2014

Journey to the Centre of York

Hi readers!

Today I’m back with a new Survival Tips post on Time Management.

Time Management is easily one of the harder components of being a student, something that generally first becomes noticeable in high school and tends to get worse in university or college. However, those that master Time Management often have the highest success of all so I’m going to highlight some of the most successful tips that will help YOU to succeed.

Tip #1 – Schedule as much as you can, as SOON as you can.

One thing I’ve found very helpful is Google Calendar because it live syncs between my laptop, any computer I’m on, and my cell phone and tablet – making it so easy to know what I should be doing at any given time. Here are some specific points to follow:

  • As soon as you’ve enrolled in your classes, plot them in Google Calendar.
  • As soon as you receive or can find your course outline, plot all of your assignment, quiz, and exam final dates.
  • Before the semester starts, schedule important dates (such as the last date to drop a class) and holidays.
  • Always make sure you have your other commitments scheduled whether it be work, a planned hangout, volunteering, etc.
  • As a protip you can actually schedule in study sessions for each class every week, or closer to exams if you prefer. I’ve found that scheduling a study session makes it way more likely that I’ll actually study during that time and not just make an excuse and do something else. Remember that study sessions shouldn’t be more than 2-3 hours in one go and that you should take breaks up to 1/2 hour long per hour as often as you feel you need.

 Tip #2 – If you have a lot to do, prioritize!

This might seem obvious to some but prioritizing can actually be a super effective way to get back on track and get a lot of work done. When you have a lot on your plate it can be overwhelming to find a starting point and this often leads to procrastination as a form of escape from the stress. I like using star systems so I would recommend using something like the following:

☆☆☆ = HIGH priority – whatever is labelled with three stars needs to be completed ASAP otherwise there will likely be detrimental consequences.

☆☆ = Mid priority – two stars signifies that these items need to be completed in a timely fashion otherwise there will be a negative impact, but at the same time, they can be held off for a little while.

☆ = Low priority – one star means that there is no rush to complete a task and it can wait until you have free time.

Once you’ve made a list of your tasks and organized them (perhaps using a fantastic app such as Evernote, which is also multi-platform) into categories, it’s important to try to space these tasks over a certain amount of time. You can tackle them for a day to day basis or over a longer period of time but make sure you treat the items on your list according to their priority for maximum efficiency.

Tip #3 – Avoid ‘Burn Out’ by knowing when to break.

This tip is so important for maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle – not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. While scheduling is certainly helpful, you certainly don’t need to schedule everything. And sometimes it IS necessary to change your plans for what your schedule reflects and that is perfectly okay. Some other tips:

  • Don’t forget to give yourself ‘me‘ time and time to socialize with peers.
  • Take short breaks, even during your high priority tasks.
  • If you think you will need help with something, make sure you give yourself time to find the resources and help you need. And remember that other people have lives too so they will need time to work you into their own schedules. For example if you know you will need to meet with a prof to ask a question about an assignment (just an example), make sure you email them to set that up quite a while before the assignment is due and not a day or two before it’s due.
  • Know that it’s okay to say ‘No’ to proposed commitments, even if you just want the time for yourself. Sometimes you just need to put yourself first even if a proposed commitment is a great or rare opportunity.

Well that’s all for today folks. Which tips did you find most helpful? Do you have difficulties managing your time? Comment below!




Megan is a third-year Psychology student. Follow her on her journey of self-development as she explores and ventures through campus.

See other posts by Megan