Time Management Tips from Academic Advising


Photo by Steve Marcelin
Jordan Alexander, Academic Advisor, created a great resource about time management located behind the water cooler on the first floor of 320 Newbury St, outside of Academic Services. This list of tips was adapted from the Mayo Clinic website.

Plan each day. Planning can help you accomplish more and feel more in control. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes.

Prioritize your tasks. Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can consume a lot of your day. Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.

Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can pass on to someone else.

Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.

Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.

Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it.

Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.

Limit distractions. Block out time on your calendar for big projects. During that time, close your door and turn off your email, Facebook, and cellphone.

Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.

Take a break when needed. Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation to rest and re-energize.

Reach out for help when you need it. Academic Advising, the Learning Resource Center, and other campus resources are here to help you when you need it. Just ask!