Time Management

Having good time management skills is vital to success in college. Below are some tried-and-true tips from peer advisors to manage your time effectively.

Organized by Jackie Leete

Keep in mind

Not every strategy works well for everyone, so it is important to identify the strategies that work best for you. If you have any questions about managing your time at Wes, please reach out to the peer advisors at peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu!

  • Make a semester plan
    • At the beginning of each semester, go through the syllabi for all of your courses and identify the dates of all major assignments (tests, papers, projects, presentations, etc.)
    • Put these assignments into a semester planning calendar (download a copy here!)
    • Identify which weeks will be busiest so that you can start preparing well in advance
    • Refer to the planning calendar regularly to update as needed and plan ahead for assignments
  • Use a calendar / schedule
    • Add your classes, office hours, TA sessions, meetings, meals, practices, workouts, rehearsals, homework time, etc.
    • Add in the dates of all major assignments (identified from making a semester plan)
    • Consider using different colors for different types of events so that you can easily see your distribution of classes, extracurriculars, personal time, etc.
    • Consider setting aside time each day to create a "to-do" list
      • Check your calendar and semester plan to determine what to focus on for the day
      • Assign tasks to a time slot in your schedule for the day
    • Remember: the calendar only works if you are checking and updating it regularly! Try to check your calendar at least once everyday to make sure you are not missing any upcoming events/assignments
  • Using a digital calendar

    While using a paper planner works well for some students, using a digital calendar (like Google or iCal) has some added benefits:

    • Events can be set as “reoccurring” to save time when making your calendar
    • You can set alarms to keep yourself on track for the day, and reminders can help you remember important events
    • Moving appointments, meetings, or scheduled study time is as easy as changing the date for the calendar event
    • Digital calendars can be synced to your phone and computer so that you can access your calendar from anywhere
  • Start early
    Start preparing for exams and papers a week to ten days in advance:
    • Try to work a little bit every day on studying for a test or writing an essay so that you don’t have to cram at the end
    • Attending school is about learning new information, and studies show you will retain more information if you don’t cram!
    • By starting early and not cramming for an exam, you will likely be able to get more sleep on the nights leading up to the exam, which will help you concentrate better during your exam
    • By starting early and not writing an essay last minute, you will have time to seek guidance on your paper from your professor or the writing workshop, and have more time to edit and refine your essay
  • Get Help!
    • Peer advisors are great at helping others with time management strategies. Email us at peeradvisors@wesleyan.edu to set up a meeting!
    • Student Academic Resources staff members are available to meet with any student individually throughout the year as well