Time Management on a Degree Course

There are many posts on this site which will help you save and manage time on your degree course, a list of which can be found at the bottom of the page.

The objective of time management is to get the maximum output from every hour of work you do, to work smarter not harder.

To manage time efficiently on your university degree you need to stay in control.

If you lose control, any planning and structure you established on your degree will quickly evaporate!

Losing control means:

  • Not knowing where you are in terms of skills / knowledge required to complete a degree assignment
  • Not knowing what degree assignments have to be completed
  • Not knowing how long it will take to complete each degree assignment
  • Not knowing how much time you have left on each degree assignment
  • Not being able to work to your schedule
  • Panicking close to university assignment deadlines

If you allow this to happen you will lurch from one crisis to the next.

You will hemorrhage time as your efficiency drops in the panic, and time lost on one degree assignment impacts the next, perpetuating the problem.

For example, you may spend an hour or two trying to understand something required for a late degree assignment. Had you identified this sooner, when you were in a position to ask for help, you may have achieved the same in 10 minutes by asking a university lecturer.

This is the overriding reason why you should always hand university degree work in at least one week early. If you get stuck on a problem, you can put that particular university assignment down and work on something else instead, knowing you have time to ask the relevant questions of university tutors or other degree students.

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Working ahead means you are able to optimise your output against working time, i.e. you never waste time on a particular degree assignment “because it has to be done today.

Working ahead of deadlines avoids compression of multiple tasks into short time frames which causes stress. Becoming stressed can make you work faster, harder, better, but it often results in more mistakes being made. Again, completing university work a week ahead of deadlines helps to alleviate stress, or in cases where stress is workload induced, as opposed to being driven by a deadline, you have time to double check your degree work when you are calmer.

To make the best use of your time at university always:

  • Start your university assignments early
  • Ask for advice on degree assignments at the earliest opportunity
  • If you are a serious degree student and ask for advice early on, then you will:
  • Be more likely to receive that advice from university lecturers
  • Have more time to apply the advice given by university lecturers
  • Have time to go back and seek further advice from university lecturers