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home > services > study skills resources > time management


I have so much to do!  How do I get everything done?

As a college student, you have so many demands on your time.  Fitting everything into the 168 hours in a week is possible but requires careful planning and time management.

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  • Set aside at least 2-3 hours of study time (reading, homework, review) for each 1 hour you are in class.  Using this study time formula, plan for 8-12 hours outside of class for a 4-credit class each week.  That’s 68-103 minutes a day.

  • Create a list of everything that you have to do and include the length of time for each activity.  Add these to a weekly time map that becomes a guide for each day.  If you have more to do than hours in the week, you may need to make some tough decisions about which activities you can reduce or eliminate from your schedule.

  • Maintain a term-long calendar that includes due dates for all big activities such as midterms and essays.  This will help you plan ahead for weeks in the term that may be particularly busy.

  • Find out why you are procrastinating and stop!  If you understand the reasons for your procrastination, you can start to formulate solutions to get back on track.

  • Reduce distractions to balance academic, personal, and work life.  University life is filled with many opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom, including spending time with friends and family, participating in student organizations, and attending interesting lectures. 

  • Take time for yourself and maintain your own balance and wellness in your life.

  • Need more help? Visit drop-in study skills support, make an appointment with TLC faculty, take a credit course, visit the TLC math and writing labs, or attend one of our workshop.


Time Management

Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) gave a lecture on Time Management at the University of Virginia in November 2007.”


Study time formula

Study Hours Formula [pdf]
To determine how many hours you need to study each week to get A's, use the following guideline rule of thumb: study 2 hours per hour in class for an easy class, 3 hours per hour in class for an average class, and 4 hours per hour in class for a difficult class. Use this worksheet to calculate the number of hours you should try to study each week.


Time map

Weekly Scheule [pdf]
A time map is a tool to use for planning your week at the beginning of each quarter. You may be amazed to see the pockets of time you can find in your day after you fill in classes, work, and other activities that happen every week.


Term-long calendar

Use this term-long calendar to plan big events (papers, exams, activities) throughout the term. This tool helps you see everything you need to accomplish together in one place.


Students procrastinate for many reasons, and many resources are available to help students overcome procrastination. 

The Cal Poly Academic Skills Center site lists reasons why students procrastinate and describes positive steps toward reducing/eliminating procrastination. The site also includes an activity to determine what you are procrastinating and why.

The University of Illinois Counseling Center describes several reasons why people procrastinate and includes information on limiting procrastination and planning effectively.

Discover your procrastination style on the Psych Wisdom website where you can take a quiz to find out which of six different types of procrastination best describes you. There are also information sheets for how to manage each different type.



The University of Waterloo Counselling Services describes five strategies that students can try to reduce distractions and improve concentration.

The Delaware State Education Association website includes effective methods for improving concentration while studying.



The Campus Recreation and Wellness center at the University of Baltimore describes describes six demensions of wellness and ways to achieve balance in each of them.





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