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Getting started at TasTAFE: Manage Time

How to start managing your time

  • Begin a study session by making sure your task is achievable in the time you have available. Split a big task into smaller chunks.

  • Make sure you have a clear plan for the task ahead eg ‘I know I will have finished when I have …..’

  • Set yourself rewards eg ‘When I have finished I will …’

  • If you need to do a task you don’t enjoy, force yourself to do it first. Get it over and done with so you can reward yourself with something you enjoy. If you put un-enjoyable tasks last, they may sit on your ‘to do’ list forever.

To help you make a start download the Time Management Help Sheet below and use the weekly planner:

Keep going & managing stress

  • Make sure you do a variety of tasks. Don’t do the same thing for hours on end because your brain will get tired and you won’t be productive.
  • Break up long periods of study by looking at what you have achieved.
  • Make the most of natural breaks. Pause when you come to the end of a chapter or complete an exercise. Reward yourself and rekindle your enthusiasm.
  • If you are struggling to concentrate, stop and review your activities. You may need to re-set clear goals and engage your mind in an active way. Avoid pushing on regardless of your ability to concentrate because you will waste your energy.

Taking breaks are important

  • Take breaks when and if you need to. This may be when your concentration starts to slip or when you have been staring at a computer screen for too long.
  • Avoid distractions to be productive and stay focused. Youth BeyondBlue have a few good tips.
  • Take care of yourself. Youth BeyondBlue have some good suggestions.

Know when to stop 

  • Once you have achieved your goal, stop working. Avoid starting things you know you won’t have time to finish or might be too tired to devote proper time to. Reward yourself and enjoy a sense of achievement. This will carry you through your next study session.
  • If you are suffering from a lack of motivation, poor concentration or are distracted, try to be active in overcoming these obstacles or you won’t use your time effectively.

Organising tips 

  • Organising your time is a personal process. You will need to find ways of monitoring and planning your activities that suits you. Some people like making lists, others like weekly plans.
  • Regularly reflect on your plan so it keeps working for you rather than against you.
  • Be clear about what you have got to do and when it has to be done.
  • Use a term planner to help gauge your productivity over time.
  • Set and stick to realistic goals.

[This is based on guides available from the University of Leicester]