Time Management Strategies

To implement a successful study plan, you need to know where your time is devoted. To determine your time available for study:

  • Keep a record of all your time commitments in 30-minute intervals for 24-hours each day for one week—include work time, sleep, family time, etc.
  • Write in study times on your calendar—be realistic
  • Keep in mind your need to balance family, work, school, and other social responsibilities
  • Write in your exam date—plan to finish preparing two weeks prior
  • For a 4-credit exam, plan to study for approximately 8-12 hours per week for 12-15 weeks


  • Get a calendar
  • Keep track of your time
  • Gather resources
  • Design your plan
  • Find a quiet space
  • List five REWARDS

Time Management Tips

Learn to effectively manage your time and succeed in your studies by organizing and prioritizing tasks such as schoolwork, activities with friends, work, family, etc.

Strategies on using time:

  • Develop blocks of study time—we suggest blocks that last about 45-55 minutes, but make sure you ask yourself:
    • How long does it take for me to become restless? Some learners need more frequent breaks. More difficult material may also require more breaks
  • Schedule weekly reviews and updates
  • Prioritize assignments—when studying, get in the habit of beginning with the most difficult subject or task
  • Seek alternative study places free from distractions
  • Make use of your "down time"—think of using time walking, riding, etc. for studying as well
  • Review studies and readings just before class
  • Review lecture material immediately after class—without review, your chance of forgetting is greatest within 24-hours.
  • Schedule time for critical course events: papers, presentations, tests, etc.

 Develop criteria for adjusting your schedule to meet both your academic and non-academic needs.

Effective aids:

  • "To do" list: Write down things you have to do, then decide:
    • What to do at the moment?
    • What to schedule for later?
    • What to get someone else to do?
    • What to put off for a later time period?
  • Daily/weekly planner: write down appointments, classes, meetings and study time on a chronological log book or chart. Always be prepared for tomorrow and, first thing in the morning, check what's ahead for the day.
  • Long-term planner: Use a monthly chart so that you can plan ahead. Long-term planners will also serve as a reminder to constructively plan your time.

Time Use Chart
Click on the link below and print a copy of the Time Use Chart (PDF). Use this chart to record everything you do during each half-hour period of a week that you choose:

Time Use Chart (PDF)

At the end of a week, create a summary of your activities to see how you spend your time.