10 Ways to Improve Time Management

Kim Truong, writer

Time management is an essential skill that many have a difficult time mastering, especially students, and as finals week approaches, students are becoming more and more stressed by the increasing amount of work they are assigned. Students begin to lose or forget assignments, have unfinished work, and missed deadlines. Most of these problems are because of poor time management, but these 10 points are great ways to improve your time management skills and will also help improve productivity and studying habits.

1.Use a Planner

Keeping a planner is a great way to keep track of assignments, especially if you have a lot of tasks or deadlines. Planners can help schedule activities so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and busy. This method keeps you from forgetting an assignment, missing deadlines, and being unprepared.


  1. Take Breaks

Do not do all of your tasks back to back. Leave some buffer time to relax in between tasks. Doing too many tasks will cause you to become fatigued faster and have less endurance and motivation to finish the rest of your tasks. Taking breaks will re energize your mental state and help your brain refocus on the new task.


  1. Prioritize

Do more important tasks first before going onto other tasks that are not as significant. Don’t start spend time on less time consuming tasks if they are not as important. For example finish the assignments that are due the next day before working on a project that is due 2 weeks later.


  1. Don’t Multitask

Multitasking causes the brain to focus on 2 different things instead of just one. According to the American Psychological Association, doing more than 2 tasks at a time can lower productivity. It would be faster to do 2 tasks separately instead of doing them both at the same time. Although multitasking might seem like a good way to finish all of your assignments quicker, it is actually not as efficient than doing them separately.


  1. Don’t Procrastinate

Procrastinating is a common problem that many people struggle with. The best way to stop this bad habit is to block out distractions, like noisy people, loud music, phones etc. There are also many apps and programs that can prevent you from accessing a certain website or app while you study or work. Procrastinating may be a difficult habit to break, but it is no excuse to not finish your task.


  1. Stay Focused

When working on a task, don’t get distracted by frivolous things that will waste your time. For example, listening to music may seem soothing, but loud, distracting music  can also cause you to get off track and lose focus at the task at hand. Work in a room that is quiet, or with someone that will keep you concentrated. If you are focused on your task, it will be finished much quicker than doing it while being distracted.


  1. Quality Over Quantity

Do not rush through all of your tasks without putting any effort into it. Although you finished all of your assignments, if they do not bring you good scores what is the use? It is better to finish 2 tasks that are well made and executed than 5 tasks that are sloppy and unorganized. If you put all of your attention and energy onto one assignment at a time, then you will learn the subject better and get a good grade.


  1. Break Down Tasks

Tasks that are big and time consuming can seem intimidating, If you break it down and do a little bit at a time, you will finish the assignment without feeling drained and unmotivated. Breaking down tasks as you do them will make it seem like you are doing less and finishing it faster.

  1. Say “No”

Pay attention to how many tasks to are doing compared to the amount of free time you have. Having good time management is keeping both of them balanced. Sometimes you have to cut some activities out to stay balanced. For example, if you are overwhelmed with activities and tasks, you will become stressed and mentally unstable. You should have enough free time to relax and enough tasks to keep busy and productive.


  1. Know When To Stop

Do not lose track of time doing an assignment and not have enough time to finish the rest of your tasks. Try to set a time limit for each task and stick to it. If you aren’t finished by the time you set, take a break and before working on it again. If you are staying up so late that you can’t focus on the assignment, go to sleep; it’s okay to not finish an assignment. When you are stressed and frustrated, you productivity will go down and it will be hard to stay focused on your task.