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Time Management
What is Time Management?

In grade school, your teacher would note whether or not you “use your time wisely.” By the time you get to college, no one will be looking over your shoulder anymore, so it’s up to you to manage your time.

Managing your time means using it like a resource. Each week comes with 168 hours, and unless you’re pulling all-nighters, you have to spend most of that time sleeping! With only a finite amount of time, you have to treat your time like a limited reserve, rationing enough time to knock out key tasks.

This means using a spare half hour to put a dent in a reading assignment or study for a quiz. It also means creating a daily and weekly schedule for your independent work, and consciously sticking to it. A schedule can be as simple as blocking off every Sunday afternoon for working in the library or committing to start your weekly problem set on Mondays after lunch.

Good time management requires a few skills:

  1. Accurately estimating how long your assignments will take
  2. Breaking assignments down into tasks that can be done in shorter periods of time
  3. Diligence to reschedule studying or homework tasks when things get busy

Want to see if you are good at time management? Practice time management habits for an upcoming assignment.

Choose a type of assignment that’s due this week. Example: Midterm

When is it due? Example: Friday

We’re designing a new study planning app, Chipper, to help students learn and practice good time management for coursework and for studying for exams. As mentioned above, one of the cornerstones of good time management is breaking assignments into smaller tasks. So ask yourself: Which of the following small steps can I take towards preparing for my assignment (in this example, a midterm)? Choose two of the tasks below and add them to your calendar at a specific time.

  • Answer all textbook review questions
  • Identify weak areas in recent quizzes
  • Retry questions from recent quizzes
  • Type up notes and questions about material
  • Bring questions to office hours

With every assignment, ask yourself how you can break it down into smaller tasks. Getting into this habit is one of the best ways to learn time management.

Mike Lodato

Mike Lodato

Chipper Team Member & PhD Student