4.0 Introduction

Learning Objectives

In this chapter you will learn why managing your time and focus is important to your success as a student and in the workplace as well as how to employ strategies that enable you to use the time you have more efficiently.

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Discover your beliefs about time management and your current strengths managing all you have to do
  • Make informed and effective learning choices in regards to personal attitude and motivation
  • Evaluate and make informed decisions about how to organize the focus the time you have available to you
  • Identify tools and strategies to apply to help you take responsibility for structuring your time inside and outside of school
  • Identify Fanshawe resources to assist you on campus
  • Recognize how academic success connects to career success

For college-level learning, you can expect to spend much more time on learning activities outside the classroom than you will in the classroom.

In fact, the estimated time you should spend will be at least two hours of outside learning for every one hour of lecture.

Another guide you can consider when planning your time is to budget to spend 2 hours for every 5% an assignment/task/quiz is worth. This is only an estimate and you may find you need more or less time depending on your understanding and interest in the topic.

Taking time to track how long things take you to do will help you estimate how much time you will need to schedule for you to do this same or similar task in the future.


You have an exam worth 25% of your grade, approximately how much time should you schedule to make study notes, review, revise, look up more information and do practice tests for the exam to be successful?


You have a short paper to write worth 10% of your grade. How much time should you budget to complete this task?


If both of these are due 7 days from now, how easy will it be to schedule the estimated time into your current schedule?

Some weeks may be more intense, especially around mid-term and end of term. If those hours are multiplied over several courses in a given session, you can see how there is a significant amount of time to manage.

Unfortunately, many students do not always take this into consideration, and they spend far less time than is needed to be successful. The results of poor time management are often a shock to them.

If you work part time, time management skills are even more essential. These skills are still more important for part-time college students who work full time and commute or have a family. To succeed in college, virtually everyone has to develop effective strategies for dealing with time.

What Students Say

“I think most students are weak when it comes to self discipline. When you enter college, for most it is a first chance at being able make your own choices. Though it can be fun at first, it comes with a lot more responsibilities than you would think. It is essential to stay on top of assignments in order to be successful.

This can be accomplished by practicing self discipline, for example, knowing you need to finish an assignment but you go out anyways. Sure, in the moment you will be satisfied, but once that moment is over you will be faced with the assignment once again. If you instead acknowledge the long term gratification of getting the assignment done as opposed to the short term gratification of going out, you’re more likely to experience success throughout post-secondary.”

Renee Meiller – Business Fundamentals – Fanshawe College

Chapter 3: Managing Your Time and Priorities – Introduction” from College Success  by Amy Baldwin & Open Stax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 


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Fanshawe SOAR Copyright © 2023 by Kristen Cavanagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.