Time Management

One of the challenges of achieving academic success is time management. Poor time management skills and techniques can be a strong contributing factor to failure. Research shows that successful distance learning involves good organization and time management skills.

Create a time management plan, and then apply the steps below.

Step 1: Identify Goals and Priorities

The first step to managing your time is identifying your goals and priorities. Decide what you want out of school and what you must do to achieve your goals. Is obtaining an education high on your priority list? Do you also have a job or a family? What is most important to you?

Step 2: Log Time Spent

Keep a detailed log of everything you do for a week. Account for all activities, such as class attendance, studying, working, eating, commuting, recreation, exercising and sleeping. Also note when you do these activities.

Step 3: Evaluate Time and Priorities

Evaluate your use of time. No one can judge your use of time as efficient or inefficient—not even you—unless you do it in relation to your priorities.

Step 4: Develop a Plan

Start by building a realistic time schedule or budget time for activities that fit with your priorities and will help you reach your goals. If learning and getting good grades are high on your priority list, then you will have to budget time for attending classes regularly, preparing for class, studying and reviewing, and additional time for completing papers, reports and other special assignments.

Step 5: Adhere to Your Plan

Some flexibility is necessary to take care of unexpected demands. However, if you spend too much time on non-priority tasks, you will not meet your goals.

Next module: Tips for Success