Managing your time

Find out how you can most effectively manage your group’s time—and complete your assignment on schedule.

Good time management skills can help you get things done efficiently, and leave you some time for yourself.

Have a to-do list

  • Prioritise your work  from most to least important.
  • Complete the most important task before you move on to the next one. Don’t leave tasks half-finished.
  • Tasks that need a lot of feedback from other group members should be done sooner.
  • Set aside time to work through your to-do list—rather than just working on the tasks when you feel you have time.

Set clear goals

  • Be specific about each goal. For example, “finish 1,000 words for the discussion section of the report”.
  • Set a deadline for each goal. If it’s a large goal, then set mid-point deadlines. For example, “finish 300 words by Tuesday, 600 by Thursday, and 1,000 by next Monday”.
  • Setting clear goals is also important for meetings.

Don’t procrastinate

  • Set mid-point deadlines with your group and use them to hold each other accountable.
  • Break down tasks into small parts so that you don’t have to do a lot at once.
  • Reward yourself if you finish a task on time or early.

Focus when you study

  • It’s best to focus for 50–90 minutes at a time. Periods of less than 50 minutes don’t give you time to focus effectively, and after 90 minutes—sometimes less depending on the person—your brain gets tired.
  • Don’t check emails or Facebook more often than every hour. Not only do you lose the time you spent checking them, but it will also take you time to refocus on the task you were doing before.
  • Study somewhere you will not be interrupted, like your flat or the library.