Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Tips on time management

One of the biggest challenges for university students is learning how to manage your time effectively. Here are some tips to help guide you in your first year.

Top tip: Write yourself a detailed timetable from Monday to Sunday

We're not just talking about your a timetable of lectures, labs and tutorials - the best way to know exactly how much time you have each week  is to include ALL the key activities in your life, including: 

  • Class times - lectures, labs, tutorials and anything else your course requires 
  • Break times for yourself - remember, taking care of your personal wellbeing is a key part of being successful
  • Study times - remember to include a 5-10 minute break for every solid hour of study. Also, try to study at the same time each day so that it is easier to make study a 'habit'
  • Outside commitments such as part-time work, sports/club activities, family occasions etc
  • Social and/or you-time - this is really important to help maintain balance - but remember, success also means doing things in moderation!
It is also useful to put together a full year plan, where you can record information on:
A full year plan will help you to keep things in perspective and to plan your weekly schedule based on what study you need to do for each assessment.  It also gives you an idea of any additional personal time you may need to take throughout the year for personal and family events, allowing to plan your study time accordingly.
The way you put together your timetable and/or plan is a matter of preference - you could use Outlook, a diary, a wall calendar, your phone etc.  Choose an option that works for you!

Some additional tips:

  • Make a daily to-do list and tick things off as you go 
  • Before bed, organise and schedule your next day. Include routines, chores, and study time - the more you do it, the more it will become second nature.
  • Work backwards- look at your year plan. For example, see what assignments are due and break each one down into chunks, such as time to research, write draft by this date, proof read over these 3 days, etc.
  • When you receive an assignment, start on it the same week. You will thank yourself come due date!