Quick Help Guide Time Management

What is Time Management? 

Feeling overwhelmed? Juggling multiple priorities without much success? Consider how managing your time differently might help you.

Giving the right amount of time to the right activity, budgeting your time to be more productive, and making the best use of time are all indicators of effective time management - an essential skill in today’s busy, fast-paced world.

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities. Get it right, and you'll end up working smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time – even when time is tight and pressures are high.

Warning Signs

  • High stress
  • Poor punctuality
  • Constant rushing
  • Decreased quality of work
  • Frequently missing deadlines
  • Inability to set and achieve goals
  • Procrastination
  • Easily distracted
  • Overextension

Taking Care of Yourself

  • Get Focused
    • Create an environment that is conducive to efficient and effective work. Identify and remove / reduce factors that are keeping your from being productive. (TV, gaming, social networking sites, phone, email) 
    • Clean and organize your space. Messy work areas can hinder effective work. 
  • Get Organized
    • Keep an activity log for several days to reveal how you spend your time and where you need to make changes.
    • Create a calendar or repurpose the one you have – 60% of your day should be scheduled with the other 40% unscheduled for unexpected events, tasks, or projects.
    • Complete pending tasks one by one. Don’t start a new task until previous tasks are completed.
  • Get scheduled
    • Set deadlines and choose to adhere to them. 
    • Being late and procrastinating are two common time robbers. Be on time and make a plan for the tasks that you would normally put off.  You will likely see more time in your day for the things you really want to do. Other habits can also create unnecessary clutter and sabotage good time management; include television, gaming, email, social networking sites, certain people, and even bad attitudes (i.e., moodiness, complaining, whining, an ungrateful spirit). 
    • Set SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, tangible with a target date.
  • Plan ahead
    • Plan your day well in advance by writing your task list. Be sure your tasks are actionable. For example, instead of writing “write paper for psych. class,” break it into steps such as, “Go to library for resources,” and “Write rough draft of first page.” Listing routine tasks (brush teeth, eat lunch, etc.) only wastes time.
    • Order priorities within task lists.  Compare activities and determine which ones are important and which ones are urgent. Consider the consequences of your choices.

What if these suggestions don’t work?

The skill of time management takes time to learn and time to master.  Be patient as you learn how to manage everything you have going on in your life.

Analyze your time - You may be surprised where you are spending your time. Make a list of every activity and an estimated amount of time you spend on that activity. (The amount of time should add up to 24 hours).  This can give you a clear idea of how you spend your time and where to make adjustments to be more efficient and disciplined with your time.

Prioritize your Activities- Put your activities into the following categories:

  • Quadrant I: Urgent and Important
  • Quadrant II: Not Urgent but Important
  • Quadrant III: Urgent but Not Important
  • Quadrant IV: Not Urgent and Not Important

Then add the total amount of time spent in each quadrant.  Where did your time go?

The Student Life Office and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help you get in touch with specialized help on or off campus. Individual counseling is available on campus in addition to support offered by staff in Campus Pastor’s office, Student Life and Residence Life. 

If you need immediate assistance, please call 911, the On Call RD at (805) 565-6273 or Westmont Public Safety at (805) 565-6222.

On- and Off-Campus Support

Counseling and Psychological Services – westmont.edu/caps - (805) 565-6003

Peer Coaches – westmont.edu/center-student-success


Additional Resources

7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Make Today Count by John Maxwell

Related Scriptures

Luke 14:28

Ephesians 5:15-17

Proverbs 3:9

Psalm 31:14-15

Ps. 31:15; 

Ps. 24:15; 

John 17:4