Student Success/Time Management

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Goals
Study space
Time management
Professor and students

This lesson introduces time management. In this lesson you will learn about your own goals, selecting an effective study space, time management, and working with instructors.

Objectives and Skills[edit | edit source]

Objectives and skills for this lesson include:

  • Explain how time management plays a factor in goal setting, leading to short-term, medium-term, and long-term objectives[1]
  • Analyze the impact of your surroundings while you study[2]
  • Explore time management strategies to make time for college success activities (studying, going to class, extracurricular activities, etc.)[3]
  • Identify options for communicating effectively with instructors[4]

Readings[edit | edit source]

  1. Lumen: College Success - Defining Goals
  2. Lumen: College Success - Your Physical Environment
  3. Lumen: College Success - Your Use of Time
  4. Lumen: College Success - Working with Instructors

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

  1. YouTube: Five Rules of Goal Setting: How to set SMART Goals
  2. YouTube: Study Spaces in College: Why Are They Important?
  3. YouTube: UBC Students Talk: Multitasking - Does It Work?
  4. YouTube: Free Time in College
  5. YouTube: Overcome Procrastination For Good!
  6. YouTube: Student/Faculty Relationships at Dickinson College
  7. YouTube: Profs and TAs
  8. YouTube: How To: Communicate with Professors

Activities[edit | edit source]

  1. Contact your college's Student Success Services office to learn about available time management resources.
  2. Identify your goals.
  3. Plan your study space.
  4. Use time management strategies.
  5. Create a weekly schedule.
    • Review Algonquin College: Creating a Weekly Schedule.
    • Select either a paper planner or a calendar or scheduling app to create your weekly schedule.
    • Add your classes to your schedule.
    • Add study time to your schedule. Allow for two to three hours of study time for each hour of class time. If your classes don't meet regularly (online or blended, for example), set aside additional study time to make up for the flexible class time.
    • Add work hours to your schedule. Total school and work hours combined should not exceed 50-60 hours per week.
    • Add sleep time to your schedule. Most people need eight hours of sleep each night.
    • Add personal and social time to your schedule (exercise, family, friends, significant others, etc.).
    • If there aren't enough hours in the week to meet your current commitments, decide what you are going to give up this semester. Can you work fewer hours? Can you take fewer courses? Reducing study time, sleep time, or personal time is unlikely to be a successful approach.
  6. Work with your instructors.
  7. Blog / Journal / Wiki
    • Update your blog, journal, or wiki page summarizing your experience this week. Include a list of resources and links or contact information for each resource.

Lesson Summary[edit | edit source]

Defining Goals[edit | edit source]

A goal is a desired result that you envision and then plan and commit to achieve.[5]

The following questions help us focus on personal goals:[6]

  • What are my top-priority goals?
  • Which of my skills and interests make my goals realistic for me?
  • What makes my goals believable and possible?
  • Are my goals measurable? How long will it take me to reach them? How will I know if I have achieved them?
  • Are my goals flexible? What will I do if I experience a setback?
  • Are my goal controllable? Can I achieve them on my own?
  • Are my goals in sync with my values?

Success with goals is essentially a three-part process:[7]

  • Identify your long-term, medium-term and short-term goals.
  • Set priorities to accomplish these goals.
  • Manage your time according to the priorities you’ve set.

Your Physical Environment[edit | edit source]

The effectiveness of a study space depends on:[8]

  • Background music
  • Background noise
  • Smells
  • Lighting
  • Temperature
  • Personal technology distractions
  • Comfort
  • Association with study
  • Time
  • Other people

Evidence suggests that multitasking is not possible. Psychology research shows that we can attend to only one cognitive task at a time. Switching tasks decreases productivity.[9]

Your Use of Time[edit | edit source]

To be successful in college, it’s imperative to be able to effectively manage your time.[10]

There are three important steps in learning to effectively manage your time:[11]

  • Identify your time management style
  • Create a schedule
  • Get better at prioritizing

Generally speaking, for each hour of class, you should spend a minimum of two to three hours studying. Thus, a typical three-hour class would require a minimum of six to nine hours of studying per week. If you are registered for 15 credits a semester, then you would need to spend 30 to 45 hours each week studying for your classes.[12]

Working with Instructors[edit | edit source]

Most instructors are happy to work with you during their office hours, or talk a few minutes after class, respond to digital messages, talk on the phone, or engage in online discussion forums or perhaps course wikis or personal journals.[13]

When communicating with instructors in person:[14]

  • Use office hours
  • Come prepared
  • Be professional

When communicating with instructors by email:[15]

  • Use your school email account
  • Include the course and section in the subject line
  • Use college-level writing with correct spelling and grammar
  • Be professional

When addressing course concerns:

  • Be polite
  • Listen
  • Focus on opportunities for improvement

Contact your instructors, introduce yourself, and make a connection early in the semester before you need help or have a special request.[16]

Key Terms[edit | edit source]

goal
A desired result that you envision and then plan and commit to achieve.[17]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]