Time Management

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

Planning

A person stands next to an oversized clipboard. There are checkmarks on the clipboard indicating completed tasks.

Habits are made up of the hundreds of conscious and unconscious actions we perform every day. We engage in a variety of habits, some healthy (like making time to be active), and some unhealthy (like going to bed late on a school night). 

One of the more challenging things about introducing new habits can be the temptation to slip back into familiar (if unhelpful) habits as we try to change. To learn more about ways you can help stick with new habits, check out our Habit Building blog and our establishing motivation video focused on implementing habits. 

 

If your long-term goal was to get into university, you may be in the process of setting your next big goal. Regardless of what your long-term plans look like, it’s a good idea to create series of short-term goals to help you along the way.  

Effective goals are true to individual values. Consider using our Personal Meaning and Goal Setting worksheet to help you reflect on your values, or reading our How Do You Define Success blog to gain more insight on what success means to you.

When you’re ready to start setting goals for the semester, you can use our SMART goal worksheet to track your progress.  

As a university student, you have a lot on your plate. It’s can be hard to keep track of everything, especially if you’re juggling work or extracurriculars alongside your academics. It’s important to know that there are many different ways to keep track of things, and what works best for one person might not be a good fit for someone else. Check out our Keeping Track of Everything blog for more suggestions! 

Keeping track of things also means avoiding things that get you off track. Reflect on your common distractors with our Minimizing Distractions worksheet to set yourself up for success. 


Scheduling

A person stands next to a large calendar holding an oversized pencil. A second person sits on top of the calendar typing on a laptop

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  


Motivation

A person climbs a ladder propped up against a stack of books, trying to reach a star that sits on top of the stack

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!