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Time Management: I'll Stop Procrastinating Tomorrow

Here are a few suggestions for how to gain and maintain control of your time.

Get Started: Just starting a big project alleviates a great deal of the anxiety associated with doing it. Even if you still have a long way to go, the project seems much more approachable once it is underway.

Use Schedules: Make a daily activity schedule and designate specific study times. Be flexible--even if you don't always stick to the schedule it will make you much more aware of how you are spending your time.

Daily To-Do Lists: Make a list the night before of the things you would like to accomplish the next day. Be sure to list in order of priority, then check it off as you go.

Avoid Self-Criticism: Being overly hard on yourself when you have put things off only perpetuates the problem. Concentrate on what you can do better next time, remembering that low self-esteem is invariably associated with poor time management.

Use Motivator: Learn to apply one of the principles of motivation: we are motivated by the immediate consequences of your choices, not by the long-range consequences. Determine what you most enjoy doing, and schedule yourself to always study immediately before this activity.

Use the "Bits and Pieces" Approach: Break large projects down into smaller steps, then resolve to whittle away at the project a step at a time. Keep telling yourself, "better half than none at all." Remember that you don't need to have the whole project streamlined just to start on it!

The Five Minute Plan: Agree to start a project and only work on it for a predetermined, limited amount of time (5 minutes, 15 minutes, a half hour, etc.). Then, after this time has passed, you can evaluate your progress and make a decision either to continue or to switch to something else. This allows you to build momentum.

How much time is there in a Week?

Time spent in class 16 hours
Time spent studying 32 hours
Time spent eating 21 hours
Time spent sleeping + 56 hours
125 hours
Total weekly hours 168 hours
Scheduled activities - 125 hours

Contributed By:

R. Fred Zuker, Ph.D.
University of Dallas
Dean of Undergraduate Admission,
Financial Aid and Student Life

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