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Making Your Time More Productive

  • Spend time planning and organizing.  Make a daily schedule, keep a monthly calendar, establish priorities for the semester and reassess these priorities from time to time.
  • Keep your books, notes and other class materials in order.  You can waste valuable study time looking for a lost book or a missing set of notes.
  • Do some work on an assignment the day that it is given, then develop a plan for finishing it in a timely fashion.
  • Spend some time every day on every class.  Work on an assignment, read or review.  This way, you won’t have to cram for exams because you’ll always be caught up.
  • Determine when you are generally most productive or alert, and tackle your most difficult tasks then.
  • Determine where you work most productively, and under what conditions.
  • Be specific when you plan your study schedule.  Instead of saying you’re going to work after dinner, say you’re going to finish your Econ reading and start your Chem problem set.  Having a plan of action to refer to will keep you on task and let you know at the end of your study session what you’ve really accomplished.
  • Give yourself plenty of breaks while studying to avoid fatigue.  Take a 15-minute break for every 2 hours you study—your brain still processes information even when you are not actively thinking about it. Just be careful that a short break doesn’t turn into a long one.
  • Use the time between your classes to read or review.
  • Make a to-do list and prioritize the items on it—start with high priority tasks and work your way through the list.
  • Make a not-to-do list—it’s a great way to break time-wasting habits.
  • Don’t spin your wheels—when you aren’t getting something, ask for help.
  • Take some time off. Students often feel guilty when they aren’t working because they think about everything they should be doing. But if you plan out your schedule, you’ll know you’ll have time to get everything done. That way, when you’ve finished your work for the day, you can feel free to relax and enjoy yourself.