Effective Time Management Strategies for Students

a student workspace with planner spread and time management tools


Student life can get busy, making it difficult to balance academics, extracurriculars, and personal relationships. We've put together a series of blog posts for students, with strategies to manage common obstacles and a Free Academic Planner Download to help you get organized.

Effective Time Management Strategies for Students

This article focuses on the common obstacle of time management that students encounter while in school. Balancing academics with extracurricular activities, work, and personal life can create stress for students trying to get everything done, causing students to feel overwhelmed. This can lead to exhaustion, burnout and loss of motivation. Here are some strategies to help students manage their time more efficiently:

Identifying Priorities

We are limited each day by the amount of time and energy we have, so it’s important to identify your priorities. Here are 3 ways to rank your tasks, with different questions to consider:

Eisenhower Matrix
  • What is important and urgent?
  • What is important, but not urgent?
  • What is not important/not urgent?
ABC method
  • Which tasks must be done?
  • Which tasks should be done?
  • Which tasks would be nice to get done?
Practical considerations
  • Which tasks can be grouped by location?
  • How many tasks can I get done with the time that I have?
  • Can I complete this task properly with my current level of energy and focus?

Choose a prioritization method that aligns with your personal values and goals, such as excelling academically, maintaining healthy relationships, or ensuring self-care. You want to prioritize tasks that bring real, lasting results or move you toward a long-term goal. 

If you struggle with deciding how to prioritize your tasks, experiment with these methods or combine elements from each. You have the flexibility to create a personalized system that enhances your efficiency and leads you to a more balanced student life.

Prioritize your tasks to focus your energy and time

Make Checklists

The act of writing down tasks can help us remember and prioritize the things we need to do. A checklist can help you visualize and manage daily activities more efficiently. Try different colour groups to organize your tasks by importance, location, or time. By being efficient and strategic with your to-do list, taking the additional effort to organize yourself can save you time in the long run.

Time Blocking

For those who struggle to multitask, an alternative might be to focus on one specific task at a time. Time Blocking is a method that involves dedicating specific periods to individual tasks. The aim of this approach is to minimize distractions, in order to improve productivity and reduce stress. This method is compatible with school schedules that are usually more structured and have certain times of the day blocked for classes.

Here is an example of how to incorporate time blocking into your schedule:

1.  Put down the fixed aspects of your schedule - classes, tutorials and study sessions that are set into your timetable.

2.  Identify your focus for the day and establish your priorities. If you can group tasks together by time or location, use this to your advantage.

3.  Figure out what time of the day you’re the most productive, and schedule your important tasks at that time.

4.  Block off time for breaks, giving yourself downtime to reset.

5.  Plan for unexpected delays. This is important, because even the best made plans can fall apart. Allow yourself extra time for inevitable interruptions and setbacks.

6.  Adjust your time blocks as needed, and remember that many aspects of your schedule are not in your control. Keep an open mindset towards changes in your timetable, and learn to adapt as you go.

Time blocking can be a way to manage time efficiently

Use a Planner to Increase Productivity

A planner is a great tool for students struggling with time management. By visualizing your schedule, you can strategically allocate time for studying, assignments, and other activities. Experiment with different layouts that best suit your needs with Free Planner Downloads that you can print at home to try out. 

Download your free 2024-2025 Academic Planner PDF by joining our mailing list!

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a relaxing planner set up with flowers and candles
a relaxing planner set up with flowers and candles

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