Time management

With so much to do, it can be tricky to manage your time well at university, but it’s so important to do so. Good control over how you use time helps you get the grades you want, with minimal stress and without cheating. Below are some common time management problems that UWA students face. For each scenario, consider what the student should do to overcome their time management issue and select the most suitable response.

1. I feel I have to know a topic really well before writing, so I spend a lot of time researching first. Sometimes this leaves me very little time to write. Should I:

  1. Stop doing research a week before the deadline and just write?
  2. Write a complete first draft and then do research to fill in the gaps?
  3. Begin both writing and research early on and alternate between these?

2. I write to-do lists constantly, but I still keep falling further and further behind. My lists, however, keep getting longer. Should I:

  1. Stop writing lists and just try my best without them?
  2. List only the most important tasks in order of priority?
  3. Try and do everything on my list every day?

3. I can't focus on writing until just before things are due. I pull all-nighters to meet uni deadlines and get burnt out. Should I:

  1. Break big tasks into smaller ones, and give myself deadlines for these?
  2. Accept that this is the way I work best and aim to sleep once I've got things in?
  3. Aim to write at least 100 words a day?

4. I spend a lot of time on each study task to get things perfect. I get stressed because it takes so long that I can't fit everything in. Should I:

  1. Stop doing so much and study part-time instead?
  2. Keep going as I am, but also include some activities to relieve stress?
  3. Accept that there's not always time to make everything 'perfect' and learn to stop when my work is 'good enough'?

5. I spend hours reading texts cover-to-cover, but when I'm finished, I often can't remember anything I've just read. Should I:

  1. Read in chunks, taking breaks every hour?
  2. Stop reading and use the dictionary whenever I don’t understand something?
  3. Skim texts for a quick overview, identify what I need to read in depth, and take simple notes, jotting down my ideas, questions and comments as I read?