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The aim of managing your time is to spend time doing the things that help you achieve your goals and the things that you personally prioritise and value.
Time management is straightforward - but it takes a bit of effort. This webpage aims to help you prepare the ground for effective time management and then devise a workable system for yourself which meets your needs.
Before you begin to organise your time, you need to think in a structured way:
Identify what is important to you: friends? family? dependants? paid work? getting a good degree? socialising? your health? Rank them in order from 1-10. This will help you prioritise the time you give to things you most value and things which will help you achieve your goals. Then you can allocate a realistic amount of time to each.
Try to be realistic and definite about them. Identify what needs to be done, when, how, who by? Major goals often need to be divided up into several steps which can be redefined as short-term goals.
A systematic approach will help you identify your strengths and help you identify where improvements can be made. Start by keeping a diary and include notes on:
How long did it take you to get started? Did you prioritise? Did you put things off? Can you say ‘no’ when you need to? Were you easily distracted by others? Is your desk always untidy? Are you able to focus and concentrate on the task? Do you make plans and lists?
Identifying how you spend your time can help you see if you use it productively. List the things you have to do, such as lectures, paid work, child care arrangements etc. Once you have established these fixtures, note other activities you want to include, such as visits to the gym, breaks, meetings, study time and time with friends. Are you realistic about what you can fit in? Are you studying at the best time for you? Do you spend time worrying rather than tackling things?
Different systems work for different people but if you want the best out of yourself in the time you have available, try these suggestions:
Defining what is important to you is crucial because good time management is spending time achieving your goals:
Reviewing the way you spend time may have revealed time wasted on tasks which were low on your list of priorities. Ideally less time should be allocated to those and more time to those items higher up.
Here are some tips to help you get on with what matters to you:
Try to remember: the aim of managing your time is to spend time doing the things that help you achieve your goals and the things that you personally prioritise and value.
Brookes students can see a doctor at the Medical Centre on the Headington Campus.
If you are not registered with the Medical Centre, you should make an appointment with your own doctor.