Manage Your Time

These days, time seems to be at a premium. We have devices that keep us constantly connected with work, with friends and family, and sometimes even with complete strangers. As a result, it is easy to get distracted. If you're like most of us, you have a lot to accomplish. We'll show you a great way to do just that!


  1. Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. But before you can manage your time, you need to know what it is you must manage. A list of tasks, from the mundane to the critical, will help you get a handle on what needs to get done.
    • Assign realistic priorities to each task:
      • Priority 1: due today by 6pm
      • Priority 2: due tomorrow by 6pm
      • Priority 3: due by the end of the week
      • Priority 4: due during next week
    • You can further prioritize tasks within this grouping by adding a decimal place. For example, a Priority 1.0 task needs to be done immediately, whereas a Priority 1.5 task simply needs to be done by the end of day.
  2. Balance your effort. Work on small portions every day of work that will be due by the end of the week, starting with the most important tasks first.
    • Do today's tasks. Concentrate On what is at hand, do not allow yourself to lose focus. Then move on to the next daily task. Once today's tasks are completed, mark them as such, and proceed to tomorrow's tasks.
    • When tomorrow's tasks are complete, work on the other tasks due by the end of the week, and when those are complete, work on the tasks due early next week. A small portion of each is better than one huge,laborious task and will keep your time managed more efficiently and reduce stress and eliminate burn-out.
    • Make one of your final daily tasks the completion of tomorrow's task list. Each day should be ended with a new task sheet for tomorrow to keep you on track.
  3. Focus on your most productive time of day. Some people work better in the morning, and some are more focused in the evening.
  4. Manage time in increments. Play a game with yourself by competing against the clock.
    • Work in fifteen minute, half hour or hour intervals,scientifically it is known that 45 minutes work followed by a 10 minutes rest is the best for the average student.
    • Give yourself a time goal to complete a portion of a task or the entire task.
  5. Take a break. Clear your mind and refresh yourself to refocus.
    • Decide beforehand on a 5, 10 or 15 minute break and stick to that decision.
    • Breaks provide incentive by giving you something to look forward to having.
  6. Keep track of your progress.
    • Cross things off the list as they are completed.
    • You'll feel more relieved and relaxed just by getting through the daily tasks. Not only will you be getting things done, finishing tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and spur motivation.
  7. Reassess the list. Rewrite and prioritize your list on a regular basis.
    • Add new tasks to the list. This should be done on a daily basis, especially when you are just getting started with a time management regimen.
    • Eliminate or adjust tasks that are completed, or fall in priority.
    • Delegate tasks to others. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to do it all. You can be much more effective if you can delegate tasks as necessary.
    • Use technology to complete tasks more quickly, efficiently or accurately. Today's mobile technology features dozens, if not hundreds of apps that will help you manage—and even accomplish—your tasks efficiently.
  8. Leave time for fun. While there are times when we just need to power through a large project, it's important to give yourself time to let loose. Not only will it refresh your mind, it's good for your body, too. It doesn't have to be a lot of time but make sure that you do!
  9. Sleep for 7-8 hours every night. Getting the proper amount of sleep will help keep you alert and energetic, able to think clearly, and function at a high level.


  • Concentrate on what you are doing. Do not let your focus to get lost. Your brain cannot work simultaneously. First complete that task that you have already started, and then move on to the next task.
  • Keep distractions like iPads and your cell phones away from you.
  • Don't "spread yourself too thin" by overwhelming your day with an unrealistic schedule that would be difficult to accomplish.
  • Do what you can. Do not rush.
  • Take advantage of all the small gaps of time that tend to go wasted during the day. Whether it's the 15 minutes you have between class and lunch, or the twenty minutes from when you wake up in the morning to when your kids wake up, use those spare minutes to accomplish something, because little increments of time add up.
  • Set your own rules to measure your achievement per time intervals.
  • Do a task beginning to end. You know those "I deserve a cookie!" moments? those are good. set way-points, and each time you reach one, reward yourself with something that takes little time, and if to be done during the project, little concentration.
  • Be flexible and relax. Allow for the unexpected in life. Other things may take precedence over a rigid and methodical routine. With most unusual circumstances, it may take no more than an hour or a few days to return to your usual schedule.
  • Beware the Pareto Principle. One of the greatest time wasters is spending 95% of one's time on 5% of the tasks needed to be completed. The assumption is that this is a reality because the 5% seem to be the most profitable. This is not always the case.
  • Set aside the concept of "everything has to be done yesterday" in order to create realistic priorities.
  • A good thing to do is to do your homework that day you get it; that way you won't be dragging it until the deadline and you won't be rushing around trying to get it done.
  • Allow a brief interval between tasks for random happenstances—a phone call, a sudden craving for yogurt, for you telecommuters, or for popping that roast in the oven.
  • Pick subjects and not verbs. List ideas and allot time per subject.
  • Do not focus all your time on video and other electronics.
  • Managing your time can be as simple as scrawling the day's tasks on a piece of paper, or as complex as a spreadsheet with linked tables and calendars. The supplies you need will be dictated by the method you choose.
  • Remember, you can't adjust your time accurately. Some unexpected events might come up randomly, so, try to concentrate on tasks achieving, not on the time required .
  • Keep track of your productive time with a chess clock. Set up a more realistic schedule once you understand the actual time it takes to complete a task. Just knowing that a certain task will take no more than a half hour will motivate you to complete it.


  • Don't load yourself with impracticable to-do lists & timelines. You will be frustrated.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Highlighter

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Sources and Citations