Time management for students is an often under-developed skill.

New friends, new cities, and new bars with happy hours tend to push time management to one side. Although the social aspect is without a doubt needed, you do also need to do a bit of work now and again.

If you use your time well, you can supercharge your focus and your output.

So if you’re looking at using your library time more wisely, or you’re a hopeless procrastinator (like the rest of us), here are our 11 time management for students hacks whilst at uni.


Creating a specific to-do list is a major time management for students hack

A person writing in their diary.
Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed with the main target.

Yes, you need to do your dissertation, but break it right down. Set a goal to complete your research, first draft your introduction, and square off your references. You’ll get a better sense of achievement in completing smaller tasks and it’ll encourage you towards your goal.

Improving your to-do lists will have a big role to play in your overall productivity.


Get up earlier

Although it is no doubt tough if you were out last night, or smashing Netflix until 4 am, getting up earlier needs to be done.

Don’t aim to be in the library or working by midday. Get an extra 2 hours in each day, which means before the weekend hits you’ve had another 10 hours of focused work.

If you refine your routine, you’ll find it much earlier to get up earlier and get that extra work in.


Use a specific time technique that works for you

A painter working on a canvas.
Photo by Ari He on Unsplash.

You need to set some time ground rules.

Some people enjoy power hours (an hour solid work, followed by a 15-minute tea/phone break), or the Pomodoro technique (on task for 25 minutes, then a 5-minute break, repeated 4 times).

Whatever you decide, build some resilience and stick with it.


Use deadlines

No, not the very final moment the assignment could be handed in.

Set a few deadlines for each of the goals you need to get done. Separating these tasks into individual deadlines will keep you honest about where you’re at.

Time management for students and deadlines really do go hand in hand.


Use your calendar

A calendar app on an iphone.
Photo by Ales Nesetril on Unsplash.

The calendar app on the iPhone or Android devices is massively under-utilised.

Get everything together in one place, with alarms and reminders.

We’re all on our phones too much, so lets at least use it for something positive.


Put your phone on airplane mode for hour slots

We promise you, you can go for an hour without Instagram.

It’ll be tough, but bin those distractions off for 60 minutes, you’ll thank yourself later.


Don’t multitask

A person working on their laptop.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Focus your energies on one area.

Our minds drift if we start attempting to do too many things at once.

Do something well 100%, instead of 3 things averagely.


Declutter and simplify

Having a mountain of different books and notepads open is a concoction of chaos.

As is having a million tabs open on your web browser. Have what you need, but cut it down where you can.

The clearer the life around you, the easier your brain will find it to concentrate.


Work your peak times

A person working on their laptop during sunset.
Photo by Simon Abrams on Unsplash

Know what works for you.

Some people are very earlier risers but need an afternoon nap, whereas some are night owls and prefer an empty library.

You do your peak times.


Be honest to yourself (and your mates)

There’s always going to be a night out on when you need to do things.

Deadlines are approaching and your house wants to go day drinking. It’ll never be a perfect scenario, and sometimes you’ll miss out.

But if you get your work done, you’ll have loads of time for a few cold ones after, minus the stress and loathing that come from a lack of productivity.


Nothing ever goes perfectly, don’t feel guilty and go again

A group of university friends walking down a street.
Credit: Elliot Reyna, Unsplash.

Even the best get writers’ block.

Sometimes, you might be well-intentioned in the library, but the words aren’t flowing. It happens. Some days, you need to chalk it up as a bad one and go again tomorrow.

Sticking with it is the main thing.


By following some of these tried and tested time management for students techniques, you’ll be able to focus your attention and maximise your output when it comes to working. By doing that, you’ll find yourself less stressed, more productive, and having more free time afterward for a drink in the pub.

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