About the Student Success Planner

⌚ September: Time Management 101

Welcome to 2024-2025! Here in Student Success, we want you to have a great year. Fitting in the essentials can feel daunting between classes, assignments, extracurricular activities, and managing your social life. This is why we want to start with the basics: time management.

What is Time Management, Anyway?

Time management isn't just about creating a schedule and sticking to it. It's a mindset, a skill set, and a lifestyle choice that empowers you to make the most of every minute. Think of it as your personal navigation system, guiding you towards your goals and aspirations while avoiding the pitfalls of procrastination and overwhelm.

Why Time Management Matters for UMass Students (and Everyone Else!)

  • Academic Success: Effectively managing your time allows you to prioritize studying, complete assignments on time, and achieve better grades. 
  • Reduced Stress: A well-organized schedule can alleviate stress and anxiety by providing a clear roadmap for your day-to-day activities.
  • Improved Well-Being: Prioritizing time for self-care, exercise, sleep, and socializing contributes to a healthier, happier you.
  • Enhanced Productivity: By focusing on high-priority tasks and eliminating distractions, you'll accomplish more in less time.
  • Career Readiness: Time management is a highly valued skill in the workplace. Developing it now will set you up for success in your future career.

Time Management Tools to Get You Started

Each person's time management journey is unique to them. Here are a few basic tools and strategies to jumpstart your journey of figuring out what works best for you:

  • Planners and Calendars: Whether digital or paper-based, a planner or calendar is your command center for organizing your life. Schedule classes, study sessions, appointments, and deadlines.
  • To-Do Lists: Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps. This makes them feel less daunting and provides a sense of accomplishment as you check items off your list.
  • Time Tracking Apps: Discover how you're actually spending your time using apps like Toggl or RescueTime. This can reveal hidden time wasters and help you make more informed choices.
  • The Pomodoro Technique: Work in focused 25-minute intervals followed by short breaks. This method can boost productivity and prevent burnout.

Becoming skilled at time management is a process. Be patient with yourself, experiment with different tools and techniques, and find what works best for you. Keep visiting this planner every month, and we'll share ideas and tools that'll help alleviate overwhelm while making sure you're spending your time with purpose and intention. 

Here's to a great start to the year and the time management journey. 

-The Student Success Team

Next Steps

✅ Your Next Steps in September

  • Choose Your Time Management Tool: Decide where you'll keep track of your schedule and tasks this month. Will you use a digital calendar app (like Google Calendar or Outlook) or a physical planner? Choose the tool that you're most likely to use consistently.
  • Fill in the Essentials: Start by adding all your non-negotiable commitments to your chosen tool. This includes class times, important academic dates (like exams or deadlines), your work schedule, and any other recurring events.
  • Identify Your Top 3 Weekly Priorities: Each week, select three crucial tasks or goals that you want to prioritize. These could be related to your studies, personal life, or extracurricular activities. Writing them down will help you stay focused and motivated.
  • Schedule Dedicated Study Time: Look for open slots in your calendar and block off time specifically for studying or working on assignments. Treat these blocks as appointments you can't miss. Start with manageable chunks of time and gradually increase them as needed.
  • Experiment with the Pomodoro Technique: This technique involves working in 25-minute focused intervals followed by a 5-minute break. It can help you stay on task, avoid burnout, and make the most of your study sessions. Try it for a week and see if it improves your productivity.

We'll see you in October!