Unlocking Your Productivity: Time Management Strategies for a Successful Semester

As students, it’s important to implement effective time management skills early into the semester to empower you to achieve academic success and personal well-being. This is due to the rapid accumulation of coursework, which makes it easy to fall behind if you solely focus on other aspects of your life. Nonetheless, achieving a balance between academics, work and social activities can be achieved by implementing effective time management skills to enable you to succeed both in your studies and in your personal life beyond the classroom.

Therefore, I have compiled a list of tips and tricks to ensure you experience academic success by optimizing your time management skills.

  • Set SMART Goals: At the start of each semester I have found it helpful to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals for each class. By doing so, it has enabled me to prioritize tasks and allocate time accordingly based on my goals.
  • Create an Assignment Log: A great way to stay organized is to create a list to track each task you are required to complete and include information such as the due date, and the weight of the assignment. This has enabled me to allot enough time for each assignment, know what’s coming up, and not accidentally forget to complete assignments. Check out my assignment log template here.
  • Keep a Schedule or Day Planner: It is very easy to forget about an upcoming meeting or important dates in the academic calendar, which is why staying organized through an agenda or day planner is essential. Using a way to organize your days is an easy way to stay on top of your tasks. 
  • Avoid Procrastination: Procrastination can be overcome by recognizing triggers such as feeling overwhelmed by a task and developing strategies to overcome them. I have found it effective to break tasks down into smaller steps, and set deadlines for each step, while turning my phone silent to be more productive and free from distractions.Practice Effective Time Blocking: Time blocking is an effective technique used to allocate time to complete specific tasks or assignments. This strategy is effective as it enables you to dedicate your full attention and a specific period of time to a certain task. I have found that using this strategy not only enhances my efficiency, but prevents me from submitting subpar work due to being tired of working on an assignment. 
  • Taking Breaks: Pacing yourself while completing coursework is a great way to practice self-care. It is essential to take regular breaks while studying or completing assignments to enable yourself to recharge and complete work in manageable quantities. Some of my favourite ways to take breaks is to engage in physical activity, spend time with friends, and watch movies. I have found that taking breaks by using Pomodoro timers has improved my focus and overall productivity as I would for 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break. Find some great Pomodoro timers here.

Being able to effectively manage your time is an important skill that can significantly impact your academic success. By utilizing these strategies, you will become more productive, organized, and perform better academically. 

Best of luck this semester!

-Madeline Fabiano, Student Health and Wellness Research Assistant 


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