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Academic Resource Center: Time Management

The Science of Procrastination by ASAPScience

TED Talk by Tim Urban

Kent's Great 8 Time Management Tips!

  1. Use a planner! Doing so will help you see when you have pockets of free time in your busy Kent schedule. Make sure you have a place to record assignments so that you don’t forget an upcoming quiz or project. Put aside time for exercise, homework, friends, and extracurricular activities.
  2. Take advantage of Kent’s schedule. Wednesdays and Fridays are often good days to catch up and plan ahead. In The Boarding School Survival Guide, Sarah Cho '14 advises, “Do not wait until Sunday to start weekend homework.”
  3. Plan ahead and break down larger assignments, like test and essays, into smaller parts to complete over a few days. Space out your studying instead of cramming. Cramming may feel intense, but it doesn’t keep the information in your brain for long-term.
  4. Set specific, measurable goals. Be realistic and flexible about how much work you can complete in a given amount of time. Don’t expect you’ll be able to work for a 6 hour stretch. Be concrete about the work you plan to do. Instead of “Study for math exam for 4 hours,” try “work Chapter 4 problems for 30 minutes each.” And don’t give up if your time management goals don’t work perfectly - assess what isn’t working and why.
  5. Set your priorities and the order in which you will complete your work. Start with your hardest subject while your mind is fresh and so you have time to get answers to your questions. Write down how long you think it will take you to finish each assignment.
  6. Use your free periods and small bits of time wisely. Start homework before study hall whenever possible. Plan to work at a time of day that’s good for you! Try using the 10-minute rule: commit to working for 10 minutes without stopping. Sometimes just getting started will help you become more engaged. 
  7. Find a distraction-free place to work and experiment with different study locations. Take breaks - get out of your chair; walk up and down stairs to oxygenate your brain. Put your phone away, or use an access blocking app while doing homework. Reward yourself after you’ve finished an assignment by checking your phone.
  8. At the end of each week, evaluate: What worked well? What are my goals? How can I improve? What do I need to review and relearn? Be honest and clear with yourself about why something hasn’t worked. It's okay to adjust your plan! Sunday is an ideal time to do this overview planning for the whole week.

Other Planner Options

If the paper planner is not for you, try a planner app, desk calendar, whiteboard or pocket to-do list. Here are some popular planner apps: