What you can do

Spend time planning and organising

Make a daily schedule, keep a monthly calendar, establish priorities for the semester and reassess these priorities from time to time. Be specific about your study schedule and do the most important tasks first. In your calendar, include time for relaxation, exercise and social time as well as study-related things.

Set reasonable goals

Make sure that you are realistic about what can be reasonably achieved in the time you estimate and make a manageable list of things to do. Break big tasks down into small parts, give yourself flexibility and allot time to things you enjoy as rewards for work completed. Check tasks off as you complete them to get a sense of satisfaction.

Identify and write down your own personal reasons and goals

Monitor your progress toward these personal, intrinsic goals as well as your academic goals. Remember to focus on your own reasons and goals for doing something. This can help you maintain your focus, motivate you during tough times and keep important things in balance.

Focus on one thing at a time

Research shows that multitasking is a myth. We waste time switching back and forth between tasks and loose the depth of our engagement and absorption of the material. Devote blocks of time to a specific task and make it part of your schedule.

Develop good routines

It takes 30 days to create a habit, but good habits make your life easier. With good habits you don’t have to make as many hard decisions and you are less likely to talk yourself out of doing something you planned. Establish a weekly routine to manage all the things you need to do, such as your class time and study time. Remember to allow for socialising, relaxing and exercising.

Choose your environment

Choose a work environment that suits you best. This may include identifying the best location for you to be productive, which times of the day you work best and with whom you are most likely to get stuff done.

Take breaks

To increase productivity, try working for just 20 minutes at a time, then take a short five-minute break and start again. Your brain still processes information even when you are not actively thinking about it. Just be careful that a short break doesn’t turn into a long one.

Take time off

Students often feel guilty when they are not working because they keep thinking about their tasks. If you plan out your schedule, you will know that you have time to get everything done. That way when you have finished for the day, you can feel free to relax and enjoy yourself.

Online support and apps that help

  • Check out the Learning Lab where you can find resources such as videos, online tutorials, podcasts and quick tips to assist with time management.
  • The Desk has a good time management module to help you plan your study.
  • Discover more tools and tactics to manage your time at Reach Out.


  • To learn techniques to help you sleep better, focus more and get some relief from a stressed mind, try out Headspace on the Go (iOS and Android) or Smiling Mind (iOS).
  • Try a life management diary tracker TracknShare (iOS).
  • Focus Time (iOS) is a timer for people who want to avoid distractions and get more done.