Tips for Time Management at University

All university students have experienced the dread of studying for a midterm the night before or rushing to complete an assignment due at midnight, and we all know it’s not fun or productive. Managing time is not only important for prioritizing and finishing tasks, but it also ensures that you have time to socialize with your friends, work on your hobbies, and relax. By using certain tools and properly scheduling activities, time management starts to come naturally

Make a To-Do List

Writing down all your tasks on a to-do list allows you to physically see what you have to complete for the day. You can write them down in an academic planner or on the reminders app on your phone. Personally, I like to use the Pomodoro app because it integrates a traditional to-do list with a fantastic study method. By writing down all your tasks, you will never miss a deadline or forget to complete something. You can also write tasks down in the order you want to complete them, and check them off as you do. This can be motivating, as completing everything on a to-do list is extremely satisfying.

Use a Calendar

Making a note of your day-to-day life on a calendar allows you to track when you’re available or not. By looking at your calendar, you can decide when to schedule your activities. You can start by adding classes and appointments to your calendar and then go ahead and schedule your other daily activities such as studying, outing with friends, and even dedicated time for breaks. This is an effective way to plan ahead and organize your time.

Take it One Step at a Time

The main reason that completing tasks last minute is so troublesome is that cramming everything burns you out. This is especially true during midterms and finals when you have several exams and assignments due close together. When trying to properly manage time, make sure you don’t overestimate how much you’re able to get done in a day. For example, try to study for your classes one subject or lecture per day rather than trying to study everything every day. Not only will this prevent you from feeling tired or burned out, but it may also help you remember the content better. A good rule of thumb is to reserve one hour of studying per lecture. So if you have three lectures on a certain day, spend around three hours studying for those classes that day. This same concept applies to assignments. If you have multiple assignments due around the same time, start early and try to work on one assignment per day. Starting early and spacing out your work allows you to make sure the quality of your work is top-notch.

Learn How to Prioritize

 Even if you have perfect time management skills, sometimes there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to commit the same level of effort to each and every assignment and exam. Especially during midterms and finals, you will want to prioritize the tasks that are worth the most. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do those smaller tasks – they add up fast! – but don’t put the same mental effort into a quiz worth 5% of your grade as an essay worth 30% of your grade. Ideally, try to knock out those low-stakes assignments in an hour or less so you can direct your attention to the ones that really matter.

Make Time for Leisure Activities

The key to time management is balance. Locking yourself in your room all day to study is a nightmare. No judgment if this sounds like you (we’ve all been there!) but be sure that you add balance to your days. It is important to reserve a few hours or even entire days to hang out with your friends or do some self-care. Getting involved in activities at school is a productive way to spend leisure time, so join a club or play your favourite sport. Even during dedicated study days, it is important to take breaks every now and then. Every time you start to feel tired while studying make sure to listen to your body. Go grab a snack or stretch, and once you feel recharged, get right back into whatever you were working on.


Getting the hang of time management allows you to study effectively while making time for the things you love. Try out these tips and methods and you may find time management become easier. Happy studying!

Author: Mona Nouri
Editor: Celina Macleod