Time Management Techniques for Students

time managementUse these tips to make more out of each day!

Are you a busy student, wondering how you are going to fit in your school work, household chores, family obligations, and possibly a job as well? If you are, you are not alone! These days, it seems that people are busier than ever!

Here are some time management techniques that might help you carve more productivity out of each day.

Tip #1: Block out time to study, with no distractions
One of the easiest traps to fall into is to allow distractions to make your study time longer and less efficient. If you sit down to do your homework with the TV on, or with your mobile phone right next to you, odds are you will be distracted. The best way to minimize the amount of time you spend studying is to make it focused and free of distractions.

  • Put your cell phone in a different room.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • If you are doing homework online, don’t let yourself look at other websites. Stay on task!
  • If you live with other people, find a room where you can close the door, and ask others in your household to let you study without interruption.

Tip #2: Evaluate how much time you are spending online, texting, or on social media
The advent of social media and the convenience of hand-held devices have been great ways for people to learn, interact, and get connected with others. But many people find that they are spending a great deal of time looking at screens. Take a moment to evaluate your use of your electronic devices.

  • Do you need to text your friends so many times?
  • Do you need to post so often on social media?
  • Do you need to follow all of your friends on Instagram?
  • Can you cut back on the time you spend on YouTube?

You may find more time in your day if you turn off your devices for a certain part of each day. Try getting a list of tasks done first, and then reward yourself with a fixed amount of screen time. Set a timer when you are going online, and make yourself log out once you have reached your time limit.

Tip #3: Keep a Calendar and Daily Task List
How do you plan your days? Do you use an electronic calendar? One effective time management technique is to use an online calendar and task list program. Enter in all the tasks you need to do each day, including your work schedule and your class schedule. You may even want to set times for completing each task. You can set reminders that automatically buzz you on your mobile phone when it’s time to do a task.

To prepare ahead each week, be sure to look at your calendar every Saturday or Sunday to think about the week to come. This gives you time to figure out how to plan for the upcoming week.

  • Do you have any tests coming up or big projects due?
  • Have you blocked out time to study in a distraction-free place every single day?
  • Do you have transportation to your classes, your job, and anywhere else you need to be?
  • Have you double-booked anything? If so, reschedule something.
  • Do you have enough food and have you planned meals for the week?
  • If you have children, do you have the childcare you need for the whole week?
  • Have you worked in any time for relaxation, exercise, or socializing?
  • Can other people in your household help out with some responsibilities, like cleaning, dishes, or laundry?
  • What else needs to be done to make your week go smoothly?

Tip #4: Talk to your instructors about homework for the week.
If you are taking many classes, it could be that your instructors don’t know how much homework your other instructors have assigned. Some weeks you could be slammed with a ton of work and tests, while other weeks are lighter. If you are finding the crunch times to be too demanding, talk to your instructors, and ask if they can tell you when large assignments are coming up, or when to expect tests. The more advance notice you have, the better you can plan your homework time and study time.

Tip #5: Try to wake up a half hour earlier
Many people find that they are most productive in the morning, especially if they wake up before others in their household are awake. If you can wake up a half hour earlier than usual, you may be able to fit in a little extra studying, or perhaps household chores like unloading the dishwasher, or maybe even some exercise to start out your day in an active way. Exercise is a great way to keep you more alert throughout the day.

Tip #6: Make use of the small breaks
Do you get break times at your job? Do you find yourself waiting in line? Do you have free time on public transportation? If so, try to use these small breaks constructively. You could use them to review flashcards, read some assigned reading, or just to take care of persona business like scheduling a babysitter or making a shopping list.

Tip #7: Get off the couch
A couch can be a real killer to productivity. Once you sit down, it’s tempting to stay sitting. Instead, try studying while standing up. This can encourage you to work harder and get your work done more quickly. Staying on your feet can also help you get more done around the house. Try to get all your household tasks, homework, and exercise done before you allow yourself to settle into the couch.

We hope these tips have offered new ideas for you to manage your time better. The life of a student involves such an array of demands that it can be hard to know where to start. The important thing to remember is to focus your time, and avoid distractions that can drain your time. With advance planning and a commitment to blocking out time to study, your time should become more manageable.


These tips were provided by the Harris School of Business. The Harris School is a career training school, with campuses located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. We provide programs in medical assistant training, dental assistant training, massage therapy training, and more. Visit our website, and see if the Harris School is the right school for you.