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Stop Procrastinating: 5 Ways to Manage Your Time Better

  1. Identify Personal Habits

The first step in time management is taking account of how you spend your time and identifying your own personal time habits. To help figure out your personal time management profile Lumen created a short quiz that matches behavior to one of four types of time management profiles. Another great tool to use is RescueTime, a browser extension that watches what you do and tells you where you are wasting time. Once you have a sense of your time management habits you can begin working to identify ways to improve.

  1. Using Scheduling Apps

Most people today use their phones to keep track of appointments. Using that setup, it’s not hard to transition to an app that can easily help you start setting a schedule. Apps – like Mystudylife2Do, and Trello– will allow you to create lists, prioritize, and set due dates and notifications.

  1. Joining Study Groups

Working in groups has been shown to help students retain material and improve study skills. Try to either create or join weekly study groups to help keep yourself on track. Instructors might even be inclined to set aside time at the end of class during the first few weeks to allow students to meet and establish these types of study groups.

  1. Enable Internet Blockers

We are all subject to distraction from the outside while working. Avoiding the internet altogether is nearly impossible given the growth of online homework and internet research. But the fact still remains that an open web browser is a temptation and most of us fall victim to thinking we can effectively multi-task. The solution? Try an internet blocker – such as SelfControl for Macs and Cold Turkey for Windows – which can help you focus by setting limits on what webpages can be accessed while working.  Taking it even a step further, try downloading an app such as Flipd to block access to browsing on your phone during study time.

  1. Set a Timer

An important point of time management, which can sound counterintuitive, is taking breaks. No one can or should work and study for hours on end. However, it’s important not to let your study breaks overtake your work and study time. Use a timer to keep yourself on track. Apps like Flora can help keep you off your phone and monitor your time. Try using time in 20 or 30 minutes “blocks”. During those times your main focus is on accomplishing a set list of tasks. Once the study/work block is up, give yourself a 5 or 10-minute break to grab a snack, check your text messages, look at a funny video online, etc. Use the timer again to keep yourself honest when your break is officially up.

About the Author

Suzanne Galayda has taught mathematics for over fifteen years with a focus on developmental and first year mathematics courses.   Her areas of interest are ED-Tech, technology in the classroom, and AR/VR in education.  She has been using McGraw-Hill’s CONNECT and ALEKS platforms in hybrid mathematics classrooms for the past several years.  Most recently, she worked on ASU’s OLC award winning redesign of College Algebra using ALEKS.   She also contributes to the McGraw-Hill Math-Tips Newsletter.

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