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Time management

Home > Study skills > Learning strategies> Time management

Working on your own

You will spend most of your time working on your own at University. This offers wonderful opportunities for using the bulk of your time in ways that suit your personal preferences. Some people prefer to study early in the morning or in the middle of the night.

The main risks are:

  • feeling there is more time available than there is
  • not developing sufficient structure to your time to ensure you get everything done
  • missing deadlines
  • drifting - not being sure where you are in time if you have few regular appointments to mark out the time

You will be responsible for organising your time and ensuring you meet necessary deadlines. Tutors do not accept excuses for missed deadlines. If you miss a deadline, you may have to retake part of your programme or be unable to complete at all. This means time management skills are essential.

Five tips for managing your time

  1. Keep one diary - write everything in it - take it everywhere
  2. Keep a time planner so you can see easily what you need to do
  3. Write all deadlines in your diary on the right date
  4. Also, write the assessment deadline in your diary, on the date you must begin working towards the deadline
  5. Allow time for travel and delays between appointment


  • Buy a diary that you can carry around such as the Palgrave Student Planner by Stella Cottrell
  • Many people find a 'Week to View' most useful
  • Write in all your appointments for each week
  • Write in all the deadlines you must meet this term or semester
  • Write in all your other activities
  • Make sure you leave time to travel and rest
  • Aim at having a complete record of your activities

The Palgrave Student Planner has been designed for students at all levels in higher education, using feedback from students about what they wanted. Features include:

- Study tips, time management and quick study checks
- Sections to organise essential bits of information
- Week-to-view term timetable or semester planner
- Year-to-view planner
- Week-to-view diary


  • What additional tips could you recommend to other people about how to save time or manage it more effectively?
  • What are your current strengths in time management?
  • What aspects of time management might you need to improve?


For further information please see Chapter 4 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.