5 Tips on Improving Time Management

By Algonquin College Modified on December 18, 2018

Advice on time management while in post-secondary.

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There are 168 hours in a week. That might seem like plenty of time to get that assignment done, plan a project, study for an exam – and still have fun. And so it can be, if you learn one of the secrets of student success: time management.

Studies suggest that up to 90% of students give in to procrastination, putting off tasks when a timely response is needed.

Developing time management skills is an effective way to overcome procrastination, says Mary-Ann Hansen, a counsellor with Algonquin College’s Student Support Services.

She and her colleagues offer various resources – from videos on essential study skills and dealing with stress to workshops on how to avoid procrastination and techniques for studying and note-taking – to help you thrive at Algonquin.

For example, if you’re avoiding a task because it’s difficult, try breaking it into smaller, more manageable tasks.

“One strategy we suggest,” says Hansen, “is start with the tasks you dislike. It’s counter-intuitive, but once we get the stuff we dislike done it frees our energy for the stuff we really like.

“Unfinished tasks weigh on us, zap our energy and often block us from getting anything done,” she adds. “Once you get started, the task is usually not as bad as you think. You feel in control and optimistic, and even if you don’t finish you have momentum. Start it, that’s the key.”

Algonquin College’s experts suggests these time management tips:

  • Plan your time early in each semester to develop good work habits.
  • Draw up a semester assignment list (with deadlines) to avoid surprises.
  • Prioritize assignments.
  • Plan a weekly work schedule. Stick to it.
  • Use technology to your advantage. Set reminders in your phone, source apps and software with high user ratings to help you find the perfect fit for your needs.
Finally, reserve some of those 168 hours for a bit of fun. With your work well managed, you’ll enjoy the fun times even more.