Students studying together in the Library

Time Management

Center for Student Achievement

Make the Most of Your Time

The most successful USC Aiken students are those who are able to balance their classes, assignments, and activities, and manage their time effectively. To better manage your time, identify a time management system that is best for you and then use that system to plan your class assignments, activities, and tasks that need to be accomplished. Use the steps below to guide you.

Time Management Tactics

  1. Determine your priorities: Start by identifying the most important tasks or commitments for each day. This could include attending classes, completing assignments, studying for exams, and participating in extracurricular activities.

  2. Create a schedule: Develop a weekly schedule that includes fixed commitments such as class times, work hours, and any other regular activities. Use a planner or a digital calendar to allocate specific time slots for each task.

  3. Set study goals: Break down your study goals for each class into manageable chunks. Determine the topics or chapters you need to cover in each week and assign specific study sessions for each subject.

  4. Establish a routine: Establish a consistent routine by dedicating specific blocks of time every day for studying. For example, you might allocate two hours every morning for studying before your classes start. This helps in creating habits and maintaining productivity.

  5. Take breaks: Avoid cramming for long periods without breaks as it can lead to burnout and reduced focus. Instead, schedule short breaks (around 10-15 minutes) between study sessions to relax, stretch, or engage in a quick physical activity.

  6. Utilize downtime: Make use of any downtime you have throughout the day. For instance, if you have a gap between classes, use that time to review your notes or complete small tasks. Maximize your productivity by utilizing small pockets of time effectively.

  7. Prioritize difficult subjects: Allocate more study time to challenging subjects or those that require more attention. By prioritizing difficult topics, you ensure that you have enough time to fully understand and grasp the concepts.

  8. Stay organized: Keep your study materials, notes, and assignments organized. Use folders or digital tools to store and access your study materials easily. This helps save time and reduces stress when searching for specific resources.

  9. Avoid multitasking: While it may seem efficient, multitasking can often lead to decreased productivity and reduced focus. Instead, focus on one task at a time, complete it, and then move on to the next. This way, you can give your full attention and effort to each task.

  10. Seek help when needed: Don't hesitate to reach out to professors, teaching assistants, or classmates for help or clarification. If you find yourself struggling with a particular subject, seeking assistance early can save you time and help you better understand the material.

Remember, everyone's study habits and schedules might differ, so feel free to adjust this plan to suit your personal preferences and commitments. Regularly evaluate and modify your plan as needed to ensure it remains effective throughout the semester.