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Time Management

The Student Success Centre can help you build your time management skills

Taking on Time Management

We know staying on top of everything takes a variety of strategies. Everyone’s time management needs are unique, so you may want to try a few different combinations of techniques to help you figure out the best way to meet your needs.  

Below, you will find a variety of blogs, videos, tip sheets, and worksheets to add to your time management tool kit. You can use blogs, videos, and tip sheets to gain more information on a topic or strategy. You can practice applying these strategies to your own context by using the worksheets. To save your worksheet progress, review our instructions on how to use a PDF.   

Types of Gradute Programs

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Graduate school offers more advanced study of a particular topic or discipline​. Some examples include a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MSc.), Ph.D.​ Graduate school often involves conducting original research.​

Professional school offers an advanced degree to work in a particular occupation​. Some examples include Medical School (MD), Law School (JD), Pharmacy School (PharmD), Business School (MBA), Library Science (MLIS), Social Work (MSW), Veterinary School (DVM).


Course-Based Programs​ are usually one or two years.​ These programs have an emphasis is on completing courses, however some course-based programs still involve writing a thesis.​Course-based programs often have limited possibilities for funding and scholarships.​ Course-Based Programs​ can be an opportunity to gain some additional training/education and increase employability, or shift direction into a different career.​Having a Master’s degree can mean a higher salary in some jobs.

Thesis-Based Programs​ take at least two years to complete.​ Students in a thesis-based program write and defend a thesis, normally after completing some courses.​ These programs have more opportunities for funding and scholarships.​ Funding often comes from work as a teaching assistant or research assistant. Thesis-based degrees are an opportunity to conduct original research.​ You may have opportunities to be a teaching assistant or research assistant.​ Thesis-based Masters degrees are usually the first step towards a Ph.D. and possible employment as a faculty member, although some students can go directly from their undergraduate degree into a Ph.D. program.

Online, in-person, hybrid, fieldwork

Some content about the differences. 


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Good time management usually involves a few different ways of keeping track of your deadlines. One important aspect of self-scheduling is big picture planning with monthly calendars. 

Have a look at our Backwards Planning blog and consider how you might like to manage your time, whether that involves a digital calendar or app, a paper calendar or print out, or one of our planning templates. You can download our printable Monthly Calendar, our Weekly Schedule worksheet, or our Weekly Reading Plan worksheet to help you stay on track.

For help with planning and managing your written assignments, there is a handy UCalgary Assignment Tracker App that helps you set micro deadlines to keep you on track.

In addition to long term planning, it’s a good idea to have a secondary planning method to help you keep track of tasks in progress. Many students use agendas, phone reminders, or to-do lists to keep track of everything they have going on. Have a look at our Amplify your To-do List blog for tips on how to make your to-do list more effective.  

Even if you have a pretty good handle on your time management practices during the semester, exam preparation can mean making more time to review in advance of the exam period. Read our Creating a Study Routine blog to get into the study mindset.

For more study strategies, visit our Study Skills Resource Page  


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It’s normal for your motivation to fluctuate as you go through the semester. However, if your low motivation is a significant obstacle to success, take the time to check in with supports to help you determine why your motivation is low and what you can do to change that. Read our How to Work When You Don't Want To blog, our Maintaining your Motivation blog, or check in with our academic support team to jumpstart your motivation! 

We all procrastinate, but did you know the reasons we procrastinate can be totally different? Whether perfectionism has you avoiding your to-do list, you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, or you’d just rather stream your new favourite series instead of review your notes, understanding why you’re procrastinating is the first step towards breaking that habit. If you’re not sure why you’re procrastinating, take a look at our Why am I Procrastinating blog. Remember, feeling negative towards yourself is not going to help you break this habit, so consider reading our Self-Compassionate Goal Setting blog as well!