Tools for Advising

Time management

Time management is a skill that is developed over time and with repetition. Many students find completing their course difficult not because they are not “smart enough” but because they lack focus, planning, and strong time management skills. Research has shown - early preparation is the key to doing well in your courses. Having a keen grasp of how you spend your time each day, will help you on the road to better preparation.

Students who take the time to plan out their study times and assignments in advance have proven to do better in school when compared to those students who wait until a day or two before an exam or presentation to prepare for their assignments. Each student has to figure out HOW and WHAT works best for them. The art of TIME MANAGEMENT is a skill that any student can achieve with focus and perseverance.

When preparing for your courses think about your strengths and weaknesses in particular subject areas. Are you strong in math? Do you excel in writing? Do you find it difficult to learn a new language? Along with managing your time, be aware of strengths and weaknesses in each of your courses. This will help you plan your study schedule.  It is also important to understand that multi-tasking does not exist. This is a major myth among college students and among people in general. So if you are on the phone chatting with a friend while trying to read your Psychology notes this probably means that your mind is not fully focused on your friends’ conversation or your Psychology 1001 notes.

Checklist for Managing your time in College

  • Think about how you normally study.  Where do you study? What time of the day?
  • How long can you concentrate without a break? 10, 20, or 30 minutes? Take note, and arrange your study time accordingly. If you need a break every 15 minutes, take a short break. Walk around your room, or stretch. Utilize these short breaks to help keep you motivated.
  • Do you take the train or bus to school or to work? While you are waiting take a book with you, and use those few minutes to read another chapter. Even 5 minutes twice a day can make a difference - that's almost an hour per week!
  • Do you review the lecture material immediately after class? This gives you the greatest chance of remembering the important details, and will make sure you really do understand it.

Procrastination- the pitfalls:

  • Do you tend to put assignments, reading or prepping for an exam off until the last minute?
  • Do you always end up cramming for exams at 3:00 a.m.? Do you always find yourself doing an "all-nighter"?
  • Do you wonder how it is that other people manage to get to class on time, with all reading and homework done, and still look like they've managed to sleep?

Does this sound like YOU! If you said yes, you may be suffering from:


It's a common student disorder affecting up to 37% of students which, if left to run unchecked, may result in missed assignments, low grades, stress and the feeling that you'll never make it.

  • Do not allow procrastination to be the reason why your grades are negatively affected and academic success is out of reach. Why do you procrastinate? Let’s Brainstorm.
    • Is it because you don't like the subject?
    • You wanted to get more sleep/time with your friends?
    • The subject overwhelms you?
    • There's nowhere suitable to study?
    • You don't feel like studying?
    • You don't know how to study?
    • You just have problems getting started?
  • What can you do to help battle your procrastination? Find a study area that works for you.  The library, your favorite chair or the local coffee shop. Find a place and stick with it.
  • Get organized!  Get all your materials together – pens, paper, laptop and snacks.
  • Try to get rid of distractions.
  • Most of all do not give up!  Get organized! Time management and developing good study skills takes time.

More Quick tips:

  • Recruit a friend to motivate you/act as study partner.
  • Promise yourself a reward if you get it done in time.
  • Keep your study area neat, so you don't get distracted with cleaning/looking for a pen/finding your desk.
  • PLAN to do it.
  • Just start... Work for 15 minutes. Then give yourself a break.

Download Time Management Worksheet. (pdf)