Time Management

Office of Student Affairs

Time Management

  • Good time management skills = academic success.
  • Time management has two parts: managing time and managing goals.

Manage Time

  • Term Calendar
    • Read your syllabus for each class and record all academic events, deadlines, and due dates.
    • Break down large projects into smaller tasks. (Example: all your classes have a large amount of material in them, reviewing the topic later in the day they are presented in class will help organize material better and help you keep up)
    • Post the calendar on the wall near your desk to use as a point of reference throughout the semester.
  • Weekly Schedule
    • List what you do in a day to "see" how your time is being used.
    • Find the spaces of time that are available (lunch breaks, time before labs, etc.).
    • Start with a calendar that breaks the day into hours. Put all commitments on the calendar. This is a graphical map of your time for each week.
  • To-do list
    • Each day write a to do list on a small piece of paper or an index card as a guide for your day.
    • This sets your intention to accomplish specific tasks during you day.
    • How are you going to use your time?


  • Use your daylight hours. An hour of studying during the day is more productive than an hour after dinner.
  • During the week, schedule time for review for every class. This builds an active review time.
  • Specify when you will spend time studying for each class — set beginning and ending times — create routine for success.
  • Use small chunks of time — even 5-15 minutes between classes — since they are valuable for study.
  • Schedule exercise.
  • Consistent sleep schedules support deep sleep.
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Learn to say no.

Manage your goals

Goal Setting:

You are more likely to be a successful student if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and accomplish.

Write out long range goals.
  • Why am I in medical school?
  • What do I hop to achieve?
  • Choose your top five goals.
  • How can I achieve my goals?
  • Write specific goals that are measurable (ex: B+ average and attend all classes)
  • Write realistic goals. Challenge yourself, don't defeat yourself.
  • Discuss your goals with a mentor.
  • Post your goals where you can see them. Periodically review your goals.
  • Goals must be clear, concrete, and important.

Review of Time Management

Manage your time

  • Term calendar
  • Weekly Calendar
  • To do list

Manage your goals

  • Write out your goals.
  • Discuss your goals with a mentor.

Study Tips

  • Identify your best time of day.
  • Study difficult and boring subjects first.
  • Use the same place for formal study time.
  • Use the library.
  • Avoid distractions.
  • Use waiting time.
  • Treat medical school as a full-time job.