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Academic Integrity - Referencing, Citation & Avoiding Plagiarism: Time management

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Time management

Planning your time means looking at what time you have in a year, month, week or day, and deciding in advance how you will spend your time in order to achieve your aims and tasks.

Doing this at college or university will help you to feel in control of your studies, avoid panic and stress when deadlines or exams are coming up.


Tips on time management


Identify important tasks and urgent tasks. This helps set you priorities. Try to spend most of your times on tasks that are important, but not urgent. That way, you will avoid completing tasks at the last minute.

Time Log

Review where you spend your time over the period of a week. A time log can help you to identify areas where you are wasting time and could be used to study. See Time Log template below.

Semester Planning

At the beginning of each semester, enter your timetable into calendar software such as Google Calendar or a yearly planner. Note all dates with assignments that are due. 

Life tasks

Enter important or necessary, non-college related tasks or events such as birthdays, holidays, work and family commitments into the yearly planner also. Include leisure, socializing and relaxation time into any semester plan. These are important for your wellbeing and success at university.

The planner serves as an overview of the semester or year and is a quick reference for you.


Use a diary to actively plan your time on a daily or weekly basis. Carry with you whether on your phone or a paper one.

Break down assignments

Look at all assignments due, work backwards, breaking each assignment into tasks, and note down on your planner when you should start and submit. In your weekly diary then include the sub-tasks for each assignment due, including the dates and times you will complete these tasks. Be specific. Check out the UWE Bristol for their online example.

Allocate time to plan

 At the beginning of each week, update your diary, including which tasks you need to do for assignments, tutorials, lectures, work family etc. Quickly review your diary every mornings and evenings so you are ready for the day ahead.

To do lists

Write To do lists for each day/week, and update as you get things done. Try to focus on the important tasks, rather than the easiest. You can put these in your diary.

Study Time

Organise your study time into manageable chunks. Thirty minutes of study, with a short break might work for you or longer periods, with less frequent breaks. Pick times of day that suit your schedule and concentration levels.


Time management tools include Apple Calendar, Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google Keep, Sticky Notes and My Student Life. Search for any of these tools and try them out to see if they can help you manage your time. Look at the University of York for more information on these also.


Further reading

University Resources

Leeds University (2020) Time management. Available at:

The Open University (2020) Time management skills. Available at:

University of York (2020) Time Management. Available at:

UWE Bristol (2020) Time management. Available at:

Study Skills books with chapters on Time Management

Cottrell, S. 2013, The study skills handbook, 4th ed., Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Moran, A.P. 2000, Managing your own learning at university: a practical guide, [Rev.]. ed., University College Dublin Press, Dublin.

Moore, S. 2010, The ultimate study skills handbook, McGraw-Hill/Open University Press, Maidenhead.

Piscitelli, S. 2009, Study skills: do I really need this stuff? 2nd ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J.