To manage your time well, it’s essential to have a clear vision of what’s important to you and the direction you’re headed. A lack of clear goals can result in procrastination, poor concentration and lack of motivation. Goals will help keep you focused. Refer to Goal setting and motivation for tips.
Harnessing Habits: A Self Analysis Worksheet
Procrastination commonly results from a tendency to see projects and assignments as tasks that need to be completed from start to finish in one long sitting. Most projects need to be split into smaller steps and spread out over multiple sittings.
Use the exercise in the Harnessing Habits A Self Analysis Worksheet (PDF) to learn how to use time efficiently. This worksheet will help you develop a realistic and more productive work routine during the term when you have a short amount of time to complete your work.
To complete this exercise, you’ll need a few copies of the hourly scheduling template provided below, a monthly calendar, a daily agenda planner, coloured pens and all of your course syllabi.
- Motivation and Procrastination (PDF)
- SMART Goals Worksheet (PDF)
- The UTSC Assignment Planner helps you break down any assignment into manageable steps.
Apps and assistive technology
We have used some of the apps and websites listed below, and others have come to our attention from students who have found them helpful.
- Todoist: A to-do list-based app that allows you to organize, set reminders, and collaborate with others on tasks. Simple interface and easy-to-use. Android & iOS, free.
- Pocket: An app that keeps all the web pages, articles and videos that you want to look at later when you have time. This way you don’t miss out on interesting stuff while still reducing the time you spend being distracted. Android & iOS, free.
- Alarmy: Annoying alarm clock that makes you do different tasks in order to turn it off and get you out of bed. Android & iOS, free.
- Canvas (Google Play/Apple Apps): The software behind Quercus. The app sends notifications when professors upload course materials and grades. Android & iOS, free.
- aTimeLogger: Click any icon such as travel, sleep, read, work, etc. and it begins timing you. You can look back at your past day, week, or month to truly be mindful of the time you spend doing all your tasks, not just work and play. It can help you plan out your week effectively, set goals for time management and find areas that you can be more productive. However, you have to make a conscious effort to measure your time for all listed activities for it to give you an accurate picture. Android, free.
- myHomework: Downloadable on the phone and laptop, this app lets you enter all of the information for each course and have it all in one convenient place, instead of having to check each syllabus. Android, iOS & Windows, free.
- LeechBlock: Firefox add-on or Chrome extension that block websites at certain times to deter you from being distracted. Would work great with a notepad to record your distractions so you can visit them later. Computer, free.
- Flat Tomato: Measures time on tasks and set to-do lists. It lets you estimate the effort it takes to complete a task and set a workflow. Has a list of distractions and achievements. iOS, free.
- Insight Timer: Popular meditation app with a large library full of guided meditations, from short ones to long ones. Android & iOS, free.
- Take a Break: Sets a timer for a work break for you to meditate and relax. Has ambient noises and soft music to help you calm down. iOS, free.
- Microsoft To-Do: This app lets you plan and remember tasks you have set for the day. It sets reminders and you can collaborate with friends to work of group projects. Syncs across devices and Microsoft 365 with customizable features. Android & iOS, free.
- Take a Break
- Be S.M.A.R.T
- Focus Booster
Students with disabilities may receive academic accommodations including the support of assistive technologies. Please contact Accessibility Services for more information.
Disclaimer: the University of Toronto does not officially endorse the apps and sites listed here, and may not be held responsible for any technological problems that arise from their use. Please use at your own discretion.
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