Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Time Management

Additional Time Management Tips

Although we all occasionally get caught up in too many responsibilities, there are simple ways we can handle how we act and mentally approach these tasks to minimize stress.

Here are some tips that, by now, you already know about...

Plan ahead.

  • Keep a schedule book and write down all of your assignments, meetings, and important dates.
  • Check your schedule book or day planner daily and don't make any plans without consulting it.
  • In your day planner, write in not only due dates for assignments, but also record times when you will begin and continue working on them.
  • In your day planner, write in a day to create an outline, a rough draft, and a revised draft in addition to writing in the due date.

Take things one at a time.

  • Rather than looking at your responsibilities all together, break them down into manageable tasks.
  • So, instead of thinking of all the school work you have to do, take it one step at a time.
    • First, do the reading for X class.
    • Then, write an outline for your paper in Y class.
    • Decide which task can be kept for another day.
  • Also, keep a to-do list which clearly lists all the things you need to get done.

Here are some tips you may not know about...

Limit yourself.

  • Don't agree to do too much!
    • Learn to say NO
    • Try this handy trick. When someone asks you to take on an additional responsibility, use a mental ranking system to determine whether or not you can actually manage an extra task. Rank the benefits of accepting the responsibility on a scale of 1 (not beneficial) to 10 (very beneficial). Then rank the added stress the responsibility will place on you on a scale of 1 (minimal stress) to 10 (lots of stress). If the benefits outweigh the stress, you are good to go! If not, find a way to politely decline.
  • If you feel stressed out, try to limit what responsibilities/activities you have.
  • Tell your friends you can't go out the night before a test.
  • Watch an hour less television.
  • Ask your parents to babysit on study nights.
  • Ask your significant other to cook when you are busy.
  • Avoid signing up for too many classes or extra curricular activities.

Psyche yourself out.

  • In hectic times, when someone asks you how you are feeling, you are likely to respond:

    "Stressed out!!!"

  • However, simply changing your word choice will help your brain better cope with stress.
  • Try responding with:

    "I am having a challenging day" or "I am having a difficult day."

  • Your brain is prepared to look for solutions to challenges or difficulties, but it is not able to solve "stress."
  • So, by simply changing your language, you can help your brain problem-solve, rather than become overwhelmed and unable to handle all of the tasks and responsibilites you've given it!